and Styrofoam Ban
The first bill, SB 338, HB 1867, was introduced by Senator Leticia
Van de Putte and co-sponsored by Representative Rafael Anchia in December 2008. This legislation would require
stores that distribute plastic checkout bags provide recycling bins and make reusable shopping
bags available for purchase. In addition, all distributed plastic bags will be required to have a recycling reminder
printed on them.
The second is HB 1361, which was filed by Representative Rafael Anchia on February 17th as . This bill would impose a 7-cent tax on plastic bags that would be split between retailers and statewide recycling efforts.
In the past, Austin, El Paso and Arlington have all considered plastic bag bans, but decided to pursue greater recycling efforts instead. In a voluntary data collecting program last year, five major retailers studied the effectiveness of providing recycling bins and reusable bags to customers. In six months, plastic bag recycling rose 20 percent, 443,227 reusable bags were sold, and demand for plastic bags dropped significantly. These results were deemed a success and opened up the possibility of launching educational programs on reusable bags before imposing outright bans or taxes. According to KFOX, City Representative Susie Byrd of District 2 stated, "It is not the best option. We are not quite ready to begin banning and taxing plastic bags."
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