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Posts Tagged ‘plastic bags’

Greg Abbott wants to kill off cities

That’s the only way to describe it. As state lawmakers gather for their biennial session this spring, they’re weighing whether to rein in localities that ban plastic grocery bags, extend civil rights protections to LGBTQ residents, discourage cooperation with federal immigration authorities, impose driver screening requirements for ride-sharing companies and regulate the chopping down of […]

Galveston wants a bag ban

Good luck. Reacting to a groundswell of concern about the effect of plastic bags on the environment, Galveston is on the forefront of a statewide controversy over cities’ ability to ban plastic bags that are killing turtles, birds and fouling beaches. A proposed ordinance with unanimous City Council support and strong community backing faces fierce […]

Paxton sues Brownsville over bag fee

Of course he does. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is wading into another fight over local control; this one about plastic bags at grocery stores. The Republican on Wednesday sued the city of Brownsville over its $1 per-bag fee, started in 2011 to cut down on waste, calling it an “illegal sales tax.” “Clearly, Brownsville […]

Laredo plastic bag ban overturned

Ugh. The Fourth Court of Appeals on Wednesday sided with merchants and free-market groups who argued that Laredo’s ban on single-use bags is illegal because it is pre-empted by state law regulating solid waste disposal. The 2-1 ruling overturned a lower court’s decision, the latest setback for environmentalists and advocates of local control in Texas. […]

Plastic bag litigation update

This could be a big deal. Is a plastic bag a container? Does the definition of “solid waste management” include litter control? If a state appeals court answers yes to both of those questions, regulations on plastic bags in several Texas cities — including Austin, Fort Stockton, and Port Aransas, which ban the bags, and […]

It’s hard out here on a recycler, part 2

As if they didn’t have enough to deal with. As low commodity prices have left recyclers short on cash to invest in technological upgrades, product manufacturers are coming out with new types of packaging that make business even tougher. These products include lighter-weight plastic bottles, resealable pouch containers and other items that are popular with […]

Bill to outlaw non-discrimination ordinances filed

From The Observer: A Fort Bend County Republican has introduced a bill that would bar cities from adopting or enforcing non-discrimination ordinances that include protected classes not contained in state law. Texas law doesn’t include sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. As a result, state Rep. Rick Miller’s House Bill 1556 would undo LGBT […]

Plastic bag bans work

Someone tell Greg Abbott. Shortly before being sworn in as governor, Greg Abbott called for doing away with local bans on plastic bags, fracking and tree-cutting that he says amount to a “patchwork quilt of bans and rules and regulations that is eroding the Texas model.” Austin has bans on plastic bags and one of […]

2015 Mayoral manifesto: Quality of life and other issues

Preliminaries Transportation Public safety A few quick hits on topics that didn’t fit elsewhere. Making Houston affordable again Remember when Houston was an inexpensive place to live? If you haven’t been here at least a decade – more like two decades, for some neighborhoods – you probably don’t. The transformation of so many parts of […]

Local control, schmocal control

From Lisa Falkenberg: So, let me get this straight. Government is the problem, not the solution. It’s a bumbling bureaucracy run by tyrants, cronies and other self-important suits who think they know better than you or I how to live our lives – UNLESS, of course, that bumbling bureaucracy operates under a pink dome on […]

Wake me up in June

As we prepare for the 84th Legislative session to begin, let’s pause for a moment and see what we can expect. Greg Abbott wants to make the world safe for plastic bags. Dan Patrick wants to cut his property taxes, and ensure that Texas never has enough money to meet its needs. Donna Campbell wants […]

Plastic bag makers fight back

I expect they will be busy during the legislative session working to block municipal laws that tax, limit, or ban single-use plastic bags. For years, Superbag in northwest Houston quietly manufactured the sacks that grocers and retail chains hand out to customers in the checkout line. The business garnered little attention. Now, however, the industry […]

Bag fees versus bag bans

Interesting. If you live in Washington, you know the drill: After bagging your groceries, the checkout machine asks you how many bags you used. And if you used plastic or disposable bags (rather than bags you brought on your own), you have to pay 5 cents per bag. The District passed a law requiring as […]

Abbott issues bag ban opinion

It’s complicated. Do plastic bag bans and restrictions in cities like Austin, Laredo, and Brownsville violate Texas law? According to an opinion issued by Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office handed down on Friday afternoon, that depends on how you define two phrases: “container or package” and “solid waste management.” Opinions on Texas law from the […]

San Antonio has begun curbside recycling of plastic bags

As of August 1, to be exact. “We are starting with a new recycling processor that can accept the bags so that allows us to add it to the list of items we can accept,” [Solid Waste Management Department Public Relations Manager Tiffany] Edwards said, adding that the move gives San Antonians another option to […]

SA City Council to begin the plastic bag debate

I look forward to seeing what direction they go. City staffers Wednesday plan to recommend to the City Council’s Governance Committee that San Antonio move forward with a ban on single-use plastic and paper bags. The recommendation comes after vetting by the Solid Waste Management Department, which researched policies in other cities across the state […]

Dallas adopts plastic bag fee

A fee, not a ban. Stores in Dallas will charge customers five cents for most kinds of plastic or paper carryout bags, under a measure approved Wednesday by the City Council. At the urging of council member Dwaine Caraway, the council voted 8-6 to assess an “environmental fee” for single-use carryout bags. The five-cent charge […]

AG opinion sought on bag bans

Whatever. As proponents continue to tout the benefits of banning plastic bags, the debate over whether Texas cities like Austin actually have the ability to enact such ordinances has made its way to the attorney general’s office. In a letter seeking an opinion from Attorney General Greg Abbott, state Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Canton, questioned whether […]

San Antonio plastic bag ban update

Here’s an update on the city of San Antonio’s effort to regulate plastic bag usage, which may include a ban. It’s written by San Antonio City Council member Cris Medina, who is the point person for the effort. Late last year, after multiple conversations with members of the Citizen’s Environmental Advisory Committee (members are appointed […]

San Antonio begins plastic bag ban consideration

I very much look forward to seeing how this goes. San Antonio spends about $1.3 million annually cleaning up plastic bags, while an estimated $25 million is spent across the state, [District 7 Councilman Cris] Medina’s Council Consideration Request says. Council members Ray Lopez, Ivy Taylor, Rey Saldaña and Shirley Gonzales have signed Medina’s request, […]

Bag ban update

Having survived legislative meddling, bag bans are back on the agenda in Texas cities. Six months after Austin’s ban on most disposable plastic and paper bags took effect at checkout counters across the city, political fights are raging in Laredo and Dallas to follow suit. In Dallas, the debate over a single-use bag ban (for both paper […]

From the “What’s it to you”? department

Freshman Rep. Drew Springer likes meddling in other people’s business. Austin’s recycling director urged the Legislature on Wednesday night to allow the city’s plastic bag ordinance to continue without state interference. Bob Gedert, director of Austin Resource Recovery, told the House Committee on Urban Affairs that he had visited 300 store managers in the past […]

Austin bag ban lawsuit filed

This bears watching. The Texas Retailers Association is suing the city of Austin over a disposable bag ban set to take effect [today], saying the ban violates state law and should be tossed out. The ban will prohibit all Austin retailers from offering thin, so-called single-use paper and plastic bags at checkout counters. […] The […]

The dumbest plastic bag argument I’ve seen so far

This story is about the city of San Francisco rolling out a new ordinance intended to further limit the use of disposable bags by retailers. I’ve heard a variety of arguments against the different versions of this kind of law, but this one takes the cake. Starting Oct. 1, BYOB in San Francisco will take […]

Seattle bans plastic bags

Spotted this while we were in Portland. Those ubiquitous, single-use plastic bags will no longer be available at checkout counters at grocery and retail stores across Seattle starting Sunday. The ban intended to cut down on pollution requires grocers and other retailers to stop handing out plastic bags and charge customers a nickel fee for […]

Tyson Sowell: The Problem of Single-Use Bags

The following is from a series of guest posts that I will be presenting over the next few weeks. On Wednesday, June 20, Houston City Council approved a budget amendment to “address littering by plastic bags or phasing out plastic bags city-wide. This proposal will be taken to the appropriate committee for proper vetting, consideration […]

Council defers on strip club fee

Tagged for a week. Consideration of a $5-per-head fee on customers of strip clubs to pay for reducing the city’s backlog of untested rape kits has been delayed for a week. Council members Melissa Noriega and Al Hoang both tagged the item, a parliamentary maneuver that puts off an agenda item for one week, no […]

Budget amendment time

Now that Mayor Parker has formally submitted her proposed budget for fiscal year 2013, it’s time for Council members to submit their amendments for consideration. I’m going to start at the bottom of the story with the two proposals that intrigues me the most. Two members called for a November election to amend the city’s […]

Austin bans bags

They go farther than other cities have gone. At 2 a.m. [Friday], the Austin City Council passed one of the broadest bag laws in the nation, agreeing to ban disposable paper and plastic bags at all retail checkout counters starting in March 2013. Before and after the ban takes effect, the city plans to do […]

Corpus Christi discusses plastic bags

Add another city to the list of those seeking to reduce plastic bag usage and litter. [Corpus Christi] Mayor Joe Adame wants the community to work together on a solution within the next two to three months. “The easy decision is to ban plastic bags,” he said. “We have got to figure out a unique […]

Austin may accelerate its bag ban schedule

They’re considering their options. The City of Austin might ban the thin plastic and paper bags offered at checkout counters beginning in March 2013 a year earlier than expected and scrap plans to require retailers to charge a fee for such bags in the meantime. Austin Resource Recovery , the city’s trash and recycling department, […]

Austin mulls far-reaching bag ban

This will be worth watching. The City of Austin might enact one of the broadest bag bans in the nation and prohibit disposable paper and plastic bags at all checkout counters starting in January 2016. In the meantime, starting in 2013, retailers could continue to offer thin, so-called single-use bags, but customers would have to […]

Another story about plastic bags

No news on the bag-banning front, though officials in the D/FW area quoted in this Star-Telegram story seem open to the idea, but what interested me was the numbers mentioned: Estimates show that each person now uses about 130 plastic bags per year. Worldwide, billions of these bags — perhaps as many as 1 trillion […]

Austin to propose ban on plastic bags

Good for them. The City Council will vote Aug. 4 on a resolution from [Mayor Lee] Leffingwell and Council Members Mike Martinez and Chris Riley that would direct staff members to propose a scope for the ban and a timetable for phasing it in. Staff members would have to present a plan to the council […]