Denver Colorado shoppers will be able to keep using plastic grocery bags after lawmakers balked at what would have been the nation's first statewide ban on the synthetic sacks.
A state Senate bill banning the use of plastic bags by large retailers by 2012 was defeated Tuesday after a handful of Democrats joined with Republicans in voting against it.
Critics argued that the ban would inevitably lead to increased use of paper bags, which they argued take more energy to produce and take up more room in landfills than cheaper, lighter plastic bags.
The original bill proposed that stores charge customers 6 cents for every plastic bag they use between now and 2012. But the Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee got rid of the fee.
Lawmakers in several other states, such as Hawaii, Missouri, New Jersey and New York, among them, are considering similar bans this year.
Nine others are considering adding fees to plastic bags, ranging from 3 cents in Vermont to 25 cents in California.