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House Bill 338 — Auxiliary containers

House Bill 338 — Auxiliary containers

Lindsay Atkinson
January 24, 2020

Bill description: HB 338 would allow every local government across the state to create its own regulations regarding food and beverage containers.

Rating: -1

Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention in the market? 

HB 338 repeals Section 67-2340, Idaho Code regarding regulation of “auxiliary containers.” These containers are designed for one-time use and may be made from paper, plastic, or other materials. One of the most prolific examples of an auxiliary container in the modern free market is the plastic bag, but the term also includes plastic cups, to-go restaurant boxes, and other items. 

Repealing the state law regulating auxiliary containers, as HB 338 would do, would allow local governments across the state to impose restrictions on auxiliary containers. Currently, only the state government can impose such restrictions, though it has not done so.

Allowing every city and county across the state to create its own set of regulations on auxiliary containers would create a patchwork-quilt of rules that would be burdensome for small businesses and large businesses alike. It would create a system whereby in some, but not all, parts of Idaho a grocery store chain could give shoppers plastic bags for transporting their food home. In other parts, by contrast, the same company could give its customers only paper bags. HB 338 could end up being an overwhelming burden on businesses, as cities and counties dictate what containers can and cannot be used at different locations.


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