State legislators passed laws preempting, or prohibiting, local governments from regulating beverage containers. Although the primary purpose of these laws may be to ban local environmental regulations addressing single-use plastics, it is unknown the extent they also preempt public health policies aimed at reducing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption. In 2021, using LexisNexis, we assessed state legislation preempting local control over consumer merchandise and containers. We identified 8 laws (and 16 failed bills) with broad language preempting local regulation of the sale, use, or marketing of multiple container types, including beverage containers. Most legislative activity occurred during 2016-2021, with legislative intent to avoid a "patchwork" of local laws, avoid burdening retailers, and have a "refreshing drink." Local policy control was characterized as "personal choice." Broad preemption language may stifle local policy making aimed at reducing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and preempt public health policies such as restricting portion size, in-store promotion and display, and labeling measures.
- local policy making
- state government
- sugar-sweetened beverage policies
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health