Dallas Considers Single-Use Plastic Bag Ban

Grocery Stores And Drug Stores Targets

Dallas Considers Single-Use Plastic Bag BanFollowing in the footsteps of Austin, Brownsville and South Padre Island, city council members in Dallas are proposing a ban on single-use plastic bags. Dallas councilman Dwaine Caraway's proposal would ban grocery stores and drug stores from handing out single-use plastic bags to customers. However, there would be some exceptions for bags that are typically used by other businesses – such as dry cleaners and restaurant take-out operations. "These plastic bags are a part of clogging up our cities," often winding up in gutters and storm drains, stuck to fences and hanging in trees, said Caraway. He told The Dallas Morning News that a ban would help keep the city cleaner.

Monday's presentation in front of the Quality of Life Committee updated council members on the feasibility of the plan. According to the presentation, city council members noted that voluntary efforts to reduce plastic bag usage aren't working. City staff said there are five options, including banning the bags, continuing voluntary bag reduction programs, making the reduction program required for grocery stores, implementing a fee for single-use bags and performing a study about litter in the city to determine if the bags are really a problem.

Don Sanders, owner of Don Sanders Marketing (asi/318050), which is based in the Dallas area, says he doesn't believe that the city is trying to target bags that are mainly sold in the ad specialty industry. "The bags that I've always sold have been to people that give them away to be used more than one time and are more substantial than those cheap plastic bags," he says. "Nicer retail stores are spending the money to buy bags that I would sell. So, I don't think the fine would affect those at all."

The Texas Retailers Association has challenged the ban in court. The case is before a judge. The proposed draft of the ordinance makes a violation include a possible fine of up to $500.