Irrational environmental fanaticism is on center stage today in Austin. The City Council is preparing to make yet another costly mistake by banning plastic and paper bags, despite the glaring unintended consequences that will come and more viable alternatives available to choose from.

We’ve written several pieces on Austin’s attempts to impose one of the most sweeping bans on plastic bags in the nation over the past few months. Not only is the ban imprudent, the city council has had to manipulate the facts of the implications of a bag ban in order to rally support behind their west-coast environmental cause.

And naturally, the city council is ignoring more viable alternatives to an outright ban, such as investing in a plastic bag recycling program.

Texas Disposal Systems tried to reach out to council members to first consider a “Bag the Bag” proposal that would allow Austinites to put their plastic grocery bags inside larger, heavy-duty plastic bags that would keep them sorted from other recyclable materials in their curbside bins. But the idea seems to be falling on deaf ears.

A ban on plastic bags also does not take into account that this only pushes consumers to another source of litter – the re-usable bags that cannot be recycled once they are disposed of. Nor does it take into account that eliminating plastic bags forces families to spend more at a time when they’re already facing higher food and gas prices.

We’ll see later today if a brief moment of lucidity will permeate throughout the council, or if members will put their strict adherence to fanatical environmentalism ahead of the interest of the citizens of Austin.

Be forewarned, this Austin-style lunacy could come to a city near you.

In the meantime, you can visit the and send a letter to Mayor Leffingwell and the City Council telling them to vote against the ban.

Dustin Matocha

Dustin Matocha is the CFO and COO of Texas Scorecard. Dustin graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in Management, a BA in Government, and a minor in Marketing. He’s a self-described Corvette enthusiast, baseball purist, tech geek and growing connoisseur of local craft beer.