AUGUSTA – The Maine House has rejected a bill that would prohibit retailers from using disposable plastic bags.

The Democratic-controlled House voted 84-62 against the bill on Tuesday.

Under the measure, retailers would no longer be able to use single-use plastic bags, starting September 2020. Plastic bags would still be allowed for some items, like prescription drugs and newspapers.

The original bill sought to impose a 5 cent fee for single-use plastic bags designed but it was amended in committee. The House also rejected a separate bill on Tuesday that sought to charge 5 cents for plastic bags.

Supporters say that encouraging the use of reusable bags is crucial to protecting the environment but opponents say a ban goes too far.

The Senate will now consider the bills.