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Texas Supreme Court Rules that Cities Cannot Ban Plastic Bags

The Texas Supreme Court ruled on the Laredo, Texas Plastic Ban issue on Thursday, June 22.
The Court ruled against the city of Laredo’s ban on plastic bags stating that it violates state law.
This decision could end similar bans in other cities across the State.

The question that many of us have is where does that leave the City of Eagle Pass Plastic Bag Ban?
The facts are that the City ordinance banning the use of plastic bags within city limits was structured differently than the Laredo ordinance.

The Laredo ordinance focused in on Solid Waste Disposal while the city’s ordinance is based on environmental issues. This sets the Eagle Pass ordinance apart. But for how long is the question and will the lift on the ban in those other cities pressure the city’s position on their ordinance.

The Laredo Ban was struck down because the Supreme Court ruled that a state law on solid waste disposal pre-empted the local ordinance.

The lift on the Laredo ban puts in jeopardy at least 12 other communities across the State.

At this time the City of Eagle Pass Ordinance against the use of plastic bags within city limits stands.

Eagle Pass Mayor Ramsey E. Cantu has stated that the ordinance the city council approved is one of many efforts to continue cleaning up the community and protect the environment.

Critics of the ordinance state that the ordinance infringes their rights. But does it?

The States Supreme Court ruling settles a persisting question over whether local governments may impose such bans for some.

Meanwhile in Eagle Pass, the plastic bag ban stands and has been in place for more than year now.

“Why take it away,” say’s a local environmentalists “ The city council set in place for all the right reasons. Its only been a year and we can see the difference the ban has had on the aesthetics of the community.”

Many patrons of local shopping stores state that they have gotten used to carrying their own bags around or purchasing a bag or two when shopping.

Studies show that on average a individual uses approximately 500 plastic bags a year. With stores selling them at $0.25 cents a piece that would set you back almost $125 a year if you buy them every time you go shopping.

Plastic bags take hundreds of years to biodegrade and the recycling rate on this product is reported at an abysmal 13 percent, compared to nearly 50 percent for paper bags.

According to EPA, 9.5% of plastic material generated in the U.S. Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) stream was recycled in 2014. Another 15% was combusted for energy, while 75.5% was sent to landfills. The landfilled proportion accounted for 18.5% by weight of MSW landfilled.

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