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Austin Wants Your Input On How To Get People To Give Up Plastic Bags

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon

The City of Austin is trying to figure out what it can do to discourage the use of single-use plastic bags now that the Texas Supreme Court ruled the city can’t ban them. The city has teamed up with SurveyMonkey to find how people feel about single-use plastic bags.

Starting in 2013, the city required retailers to sell reusable bags instead of handing out the other kind. The idea was to keep the single-use bags out of landfills and off of the landscape, where they can harm wildlife.

Then, last year, the state's high court ruled against a similar ordinance in Laredo, saying state law prohibits cities from regulating containers for solid waste purposes.

Now, Austin Resource Recovery wants to gauge what people know and how they think the shopping bags should be used. The city plans to use the information to decide how to go about encouraging people to continue carrying reusable bags into stores even though the city can no longer require it.

You can participate in the English-language survey here and the Spanish-language survey here.

Trey Shaar is an All Things Considered producer, reporter and host. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @treyshaar.
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