Osceola County wants to reduce the use of plastic bags

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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - Osceola County officials want to reduce the use of plastic bags, but state lawmakers passed a law in 2008 that prohibits local governments from banning or taxing plastic bags.

“A lot of people use plastic bags, because that's all they have in the stores,” said shopper Chino Ramos.

Osceola County Commissioner Brandon Arrington said the bags cause pollution and clog the county's storm drains.

“I had brought it up from an environmental stand point on what it does to our community, our ditches, our lakes, our streams,” said Arrington.

The county wants to explore options. Other cities have used bag fees and recycling programs to promote reusable bags.

“I think government should step in and do something about it, because it's polluting the ocean. It's the polluting the beaches. They're all over the place,” said Ramos.

Lawmakers considered a pilot program that would allow some coastal communities to ban the bags, but it never passed. Not everyone is in favor of getting rid of them.

“I think it's up to individual persons or the stores to make these regulations,” said shopper BJ Simpson.

Opponents said many people reuse the bags.

Arrington told Channel 9 that the issue should be up to individual communities to decide and not the state.

Arrington said other Florida groups are looking for ways around the law to cut the amount of plastic in their community.

Commissioners asked for a legal review and the impact on local businesses when it comes to decide the issue.