Guest Commentary: Jeffrey Jacoby of Texas Campaign for the Environment

Posted by — August 27, 2010 10:06 pm

Today’s Bag Monster invasion at City Hall points to a crossroads here in Dallas: take action to curb plastic bag waste…or face the reality that Bag Monsters will continue to pollute our waterways, besmirch our green spaces, clog our storm drains and litter our streets with ever-growing legions of petroleum-based hooligans. The invasion also revealed a potentially positive development: some inside City Hall agree that Dallas needs to deal with this plastic menace by passing an ordinance that places fees upon the bags. To my pleasant surprise, I learned that the City Council has already considered a policy similar to that of Washington, D.C. – which charges a nickel per bag – to create a financial disincentive at the checkout counter for using throwaway plastic bags. Perhaps it’s time for City Hall to take another look and even consider, egads, a ban on the neverending free flow of single-use plastic bags…

That said, it’s going to take some serious grassroots pressure to fend off the special interests that want the Bag Monsters to grow and multiply in perpetuity. If the Mayor and City Council didn’t know before, the Bag Monster invasion undoubtedly serves notice that disposable plastic bags will not merely float off peacefully into the sunset (or, more appropriately, into our oceans, rivers and streams) without consequence.

Jeffrey Jacoby
Program Director
Texas Campaign for the Environment

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