Attorney General of Texas Ken Paxton recently addressed the plastic bag ban ruling from the Texas Supreme Court by sending an official letter to all governmental agencies that had set a ban in place including the City of Eagle Pass.
In his letter, AG Paxton addresses the city government, mayor and council members.
“As you are aware, the Texas Health and Safety Code prohibits any City from making a rule to
“prohibit, restrict for Solid Waste Management purposes, the sale or use of a container or package in a manner not authorized by state law.” wrote Paxton. “ The Texas Supreme Court in City of Laredo versus Laredo Merchants Association effectively invalidated bag bans across Texas as they violate Texas law regulating solid waste disposal.”
“As you may be aware, the bag ban ordinance of your city and others was specifically mentioned by the Supreme Court in its opinion in that they are substantively indistinguishable from the ordinance in Laredo,” wrote Paxton. “Therefore as I’m doing with other Texas municipalities, I am writing to ensure that your city is aware of this ruling and know that you’re ordinance is now unenforceable.”
“Clearly, in enacting the Solid Waste Disposal Act, the Legislature did not want the burden of solid waste management imposed upon citizens and retailers through the banning of various forms of bag and containers.”
“While your city may have a different policy perspective on the value of bag bans, the Supreme Court was clear that “[t]he wisdom of expediency of the law is the legislators prerogative, not ours.”
“We all have a right to engage in the legislative process to mold and shape the course of Texas law, we are all equally required to comply with the law, If my office can help you regarding compliance with the solid waste disposal act, please do not hesitate to contact us.”
The Eagle Pass City Council acknowledge that they cannot continue enforcing the ban they set almost two years ago. But ask that the business community and residents voluntarily continue promoting and practicing a ban on plastic bags for the betterment of our environment and our city’s aesthetics as seen since the ban was set in place.
Business and community members have mixed feelings on the issue and could possibly return to giving out and using plastic bags once again.