Austin, Texas, to consider plastic bag ban

July 25, 2011 at 2:16 PM   |   Comments

AUSTIN, Texas, July 25 (UPI) -- The mayor of Austin, Texas, says he wants to prohibit retailers and grocery stores from offering plastic bags to customers at checkout counters.

Mayor Lee Leffingwell and two other City Council members said they would propose the ban Monday, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

The plastic bags pollute waterways, harm wildlife, clog drainage systems and take up landfill space, Leffingwell said.

"I think there will be a cost benefit and a benefit to the environment of going down this road and coming up with a reasonable ordinance" to end their use, Leffingwell said.

Austin's Solid Waste Services Department said city residents use 263 million plastic bags a year and the city spends $850,000 annually on cleanup and disposal.

The City Council will vote Aug. 4 on the resolution from Leffingwell and Council Members Mike Martinez and Chris Riley.

If the proposal passes, the city would determine a scope for the ban and a timetable for gradually phasing it in.

"I'm sure many retailers have a lot of plastic bags on hand or [long-term] contracts with bag companies. We want to take those things into consideration," Leffingwell said. "Our goal will be to develop a reasonable ordinance that doesn't cause hardship. It would be a hardship to enact a ban immediately."

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Ukraine: Troop movements will no longer be publicized after Russian attacks
Federal judge strikes down polygamy ban in Utah
Islamic State claims mass execution of 250 Syrian soldiers
High-ranking Chicago police officer charged with putting gun in man's mouth
Search expands for pilot of crashed U.S. military jet in rural Virginia
Trending News