Austin, Texas Votes Against Plastic Bags

Posted by — March 2, 2012 6:12 am

The Austin City Council has approved a ban on single-use plastic and paper bags during a lengthy meeting yesterday.  The Council approved the ban on single-use bags after extensive public comment at approximately 2 a.m. this morning.

Austin had previously attempted a voluntary reduction of use of plastic bags in 2007, hoping for a reduction of use by 50%.  However, an independent study showed that the campaign  to induce shoppers to reduce and recycle, met with limited success with only a 20% reduction.

The ban, scheduled to take effect on March 1, 2013, follows in the wake of three other Texas cities which have also passed similar bans.  Brownsville, Fort Stockton, and South Padre Island have all passed bans, with the cities of Pecos and Odessa also considering measures to ban disposable bags.

The ban will have exemptions, including charitable groups who will be allowed to continue to use disposable bags for food giveaways.  Plastic bags will also be allowed for bulk foods and carry-out items from restaurants.

A large, anti-plastic bag crowd turned our to make their opinions heard, even including a few bag monsters.  In an interview with The Daily Texan, bag monster Mike Koscielak stated “The thing people need to know is we are monsters and we’ve really become like part of the family.  We live under the sink and in the garage — right there where your kids play.”

Congrats to the Lone Star State!

 

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