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Navajo Nation bill proposes ban on single-use plastic bags

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — A Navajo Nation lawmaker wants his colleagues to consider banning retailers on the reservation from single-use plastic bags.

Legislation that’s up for public comment would ban plastic bags and impose a fee on paper grocery bags. It encourages retailers to provide reusable bags at little or no cost, or provide boxes to customers.

Jonathan Nez, the tribe’s vice president-elect, is sponsoring the bill in the Navajo Nation Council. He must find a co-sponsor before he’s sworn in as vice president on May 12 for the bill to move forward.

Violating the ban more than once would carry a financial penalty.

Arizona lawmakers recently voted to make it illegal for cities to impose bag bans, but the law doesn’t affect the Navajo Nation or other American Indian tribes.

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