City council enacts bag ban starting March 2013
On Friday night, the Austin City Council passed one of the broadest bans on disposable paper and plastic bags in the nation.
The ban takes effect in March 2013, banning all single-use plastic and paper bags at retail checkout counters. Before the ban takes effect, the city plans to do a $2 million education campaign to make customers aware of the change and remind them to bring reusable bags.
Austin is the first big Texas city to pass a bag ban. More than two dozen U.S. cities have bag laws, most of them prohibiting plastic bags and imposing a fee on paper.
In Austin, retailers will be able to offer only reusable bags, defined as those made of cloth, durable materials or thicker paper and plastic bags that have handles.
Exempt will be single-use bags used for bulk foods, meat, fish and produce, newspaper delivery, dry cleaning and restaurant carry-out foods. Also exempt will be the bags that charities and nonprofits use to distribute food and other items.
Tags : Topics : EnvironmentSocial : EnvironmentLocations : Austin