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Plastic Bags Could Be Banned In Austin

Plastic bags
Image by KUT News
Plastic shopping bags will be banned in Brownsville this week. Austin is reportedly considering another attempt to do the same thing later this year.

Austin city leaders have been talking about banning plastic bags at stores for a while, but signs for such an ordinance look strong this year. 

“We have a report that we’ve been working on, on the cost impact of plastic bags. That study has been presented to City Hall, we hope to have that in the hands of city council within a couple of weeks,” said Bob Gedert, the City of Austin’s Solid Waste Services director.

That report has not been released to the public yet.

Gedert says the city is still researching how the proposed ban would work and talking to stakeholders, particularly the businesses that would be affected.

Some environmental groups have been pushing Austin to adopt a plastic bags ban to keep them off the streets and out of landfills. 

“Reusable bags are the best option.  The paper bags do decompose so they don’t have the persistent problem that the plastic bags create,” said Robin Schneider with Texas Campaign for the Environment.

Meanwhile, the City of Brownsville’s ban on plastic bags goes into effect Wednesday.  Brownsville is the first city in Texas to put such a ban in place.  You can listen to that story here.