On August 4, the City Council of the City of Austin, Texas, USA approved a resolution directing the City Manager to develop a city ordinance providing a comprehensive phase-out of single-use retail plastic bags offered at retail checkouts within the city limits. The resolution passed by a unanimous vote of 7-0.
The Council heard extensive public comment on the matter before voting. There were many citizens of the community who expressed that they were for the resolution or against the resolution.
The Council also heard from the Texas Retail Association who expressed their belief that recycling was working and is the solution to the plastic bag controversy.
Leslie Sweet, Director of Public Affairs for the H.E.B chain of supermarkets in central Texas, stated that her company was ready to work closely with the Council to create a comprehensive plan to reach the City of Austin's goal of Zero Waste by 2040. Ms. Sweet registered with the Council as 'neutral' on the issue of banning plastic bags.
Although the Austin City Council passed the resolution, an ordinance still has to be developed. The ordinance will then be brought before the Council to be considered and voted upon.
Mayor of Austin, Lee Leffingwell discussed the issue of plastic bags on his website on July 27th. Read: It's time to bag the bags . . .
Mayor Leffingwell and the City of Austin have been considering a ban for quite sometime. In June of last year, the City Council passed a resolution directing the City Manager to determine the cost to Austin taxpayers of processing plastic bags in the waste stream and report the information to the City Council on or before September 23, 2010. Read, "Will Austin, Texas City Council Consider Plastic Bag Ban?"