Plastic Bag Ban Might Carry Weight in Texas

By: Halie Richardson Email
By: Halie Richardson Email

As more and more communities go green, plastic shopping bags are quickly becoming a thing of the past. San Francisco and Boston have both jumped on the bag ban bandwagon. But how well would it work here?

They're lightweight, strong and inexpensive to make, that's why plastic bags have virtually taken over the retail market. However, lately our love affair with the handy holders is starting to fade.

While plastic bags may be perfect for carrying your groceries, they can be hazardous to our environment.

Shelia McQueen, a waste management expert with Brazos County, said, "The landfill struggles with plastic bags on a daily basis and has to pick up the two-mile radius around the landfill. If you don't recycle the bags, tie them so they won't blow away."

Their long-lasting durability is a two-edged sword: great for shopping, but bad for the environment.

Waste management expert Dawn Self said, "It's an eye sore and hazardous as well with all the chemicals that it takes to make a plastic bag, and it's estimated we use 100 billion plastic bags a year."

So are Brazos Valley consumers ready to give up on their little plastic shopping buddies?

"Most people want plastic bags because they're easier to hold, and you can carry more," Self said. "The paper bags get full and rip."

Although it could be a hard habit to break, keep in mind, it wasn't too long ago when paper bags ruled, and some shoppers wouldn't mind returning to the good old days.

Appletree Supervisor James Irick said, "We have a lot of customers that like paper bags. Every day, we have several people come in wanting paper and that's why we offer them."

There's been no serious discussion yet of a plastic bag ban in Texas, but don't be surprised if in the not-so-distant future, lawmakers in Austin start talking trash.

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