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Bag Ban Gets Pushback at Capitol


Five days into the Austin bag ban, a Texas lawmaker has filed a bill that would allow stores and shoppers to use whatever kind of bags they want.

First-term State Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, calls his bill the Shopping Bag Freedom Act, which he says would stop what he calls “the overreach of big government.”

Springer told the Pratt on Texas podcast that Austin’s restrictions on single-use shopping bags are raising concerns about public health.

“People will get salmonella and E. coli because they don’t clean those reusable bags,” Springer said.

The city recommends regular washing of reusable shopping bags to prevent problems with bacteria, but Springer says washing the bags could cause its own problem. 

“It uses a half a billion gallons of water if you properly wash them every year, just in the city of Austin,” he said.

Springer sees the Austin ordinance as an example of what he calls the “nanny state” and a threat to freedom.

It’s not clear if the bill will get a hearing in committee.

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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