Should plastic bags be banned in Dallas?
DALLAS — The days of the single-use plastic bag could be numbered in Dallas.
On Monday, the City Council started talking about a bag ban.
"We have bags in the streets; we have bags in the water; bags in the trees. It is an environmental problem," a Dallas city staff member told a Council committee which is weighing possible options for reducing plastic bag litter, including a ban on the single-use bags currently used by most retailers.
Council member Dwaine Caraway first proposed the plastic bag ban in March. He said voluntary efforts to recycle those bags just aren't working, trashing the city and costing money.
"Who is going to get up on the barbed wire and take these bags from the barbed wire?" Caraway asked. "It is going to cost somebody. It is going to continue to trash our city, or someone is going to have to foot the bill and get this cleaned up."
Some cities with a ban on single-use plastic bags charge for reusable bags. Caraway belives retailers or corporate sponsors should pick up the cost of multi-use bags — not citizens.
"I do not think the consumer should have to pay not one dime for these bags," he said.
But Gary Huddleston, a spokesman for Kroger supermarkets, voiced opposition to any restrictions.
"The idea of banning or taxing the customer for the use of single-use plastic bags just doesn't seem that it is customer-friendly, in our viewpoint," he said.
South Padre Island, Brownsville and Austin all have single-use plastic bag bans, but Austin's ordinance is currently being challenged.
Dallas city leaders tried and failed to pass a similar ban five years ago. The current proposed ordinance will now go to the full City Council for discussion.