Bag Ban Coming to Big D? - Texas Scorecard

Dallas City Council members are still debating on an ordinance that will fix what they call a “dire litter problem” that plastic grocery bags are apparently making in their city.  By the end of the calendar year, the Council may finally need to decide if Dallas will join the ranks of nanny-statism and infringe upon your personal liberty.

Dwaine Caraway, a council member who has been in charge of the Dallas Bag Ban ordinance, says that Dallas will be “one of the dirtiest cities in the United States because [council members] failed to do something about it.” Caraway is very eager to fix the liter problem that plastic grocery bags are making in Dallas, even though studies show plastic bags have the lowest environmental impact.

According to  a California Study, plastic bags only make up 0.5% of the state’s waste stream. Most of the litter found on the side of our highways include mixed trash, paper, food wrappers, beverage cans and cups, and cigarette butts, but plastic bags are nowhere to be found on this Top 10 sources of litter.  You just have to wonder why city council members aren’t focusing on tackling the other 99.5%.

Dallas does have some saving grace though. Unlike Austin, an ordinance for an outright ban on single-use plastic bags is appearing increasingly unlikely. Consumers in Austin don’t even have the option of paying a fee for a plastic bag OR a paper bag. This takes away any options for Austin citizens to place their raw meats and fresh produce in something other than a cloth bag, increasing the chances for dangerous food-borne bacteria such as E.Coli and poses a “serious threat to public health” (University of Arizona).

Other proposals made by Dallas city council members include:

  • Customer paying a mandatory fee per bag
  • Implementing recycling programs and educational campaigns in stores
  • Pushing business owners to improve the quality of the plastic bags given

 

Dallas voters need to be vocal about their opposition towards the Bag Ban ordinance or their freedom of bag choice at grocery stores may be stripped away from them by the end of the year. The city is one step closer to the bigger government that city council members, like Dwaine Caraway, are pushing for. Contact your local city council members about your opposition before the committee sends the final recommendation to the full Dallas City Council.