Dallas City Council to Discuss Plastic Bag Ban

City council members will meet on Wednesday

Paper or plastic?

Dallas shoppers might not have that option if some city leaders are successful in pushing a ban on plastic bags.

City council members will meet Wednesday to discuss a bag ban and other options to reduce the litter from plastic bags.

Council member Dwaine Caraway says the bags too often become litter.

" These bags are all over the city. And they are an environmental hazard,' Caraway said.

But Ronnie Volkening, the President of the Texas Retailers Association, says a bag ban is a bad idea for low income customers who would have to pay for bags.
Volkening also said businesses would suffer financially.

"We've seen some negative results of sales inside the market area where the plastic bags are banned and that those sales are transferred to other cities and jurisdictions outside those lines," Volkening said.

The Texas Retailers Association represents different business groups, including grocery stores.

Caraway says plastic bags are already costing taxpayers money because the city has to pay to clean up the bags that end up stuck in city fences or littered on the street. Caraway doesn't think taxpayers should have to foot the cleanup bill.

""Somebody has to figure out where the dinero is coming from. It is not going to come from taxpayers," Caraway said.

Volkening said a ban won't solve the plastic bag problem.

"We're not going to eliminate plastic bags and film from the marketplace. There needs to be some program to look at comprehensive ways to recycle plastic film, plastic bags and other film." Volkening said.

Volkening said businesses already offer up bag recycling bins at many stores. He also said that companies have pushed a "reduce, reuse, recycle" program.

Volkening also said businesses volunteer time in cleanup efforts.

That still doesn't sway Caraway's thoughts on the subject. He held up a shirt with a plastic bag on it that read "Who's Gonna Clean Them Up?"

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