It was reported today in local media that the Austin, TX City Council was considering a plastic bag ban. However, that is not what the City Council proposed.
Mayor Lee Leffingwell, known to be a strong environmentalist, sponsored a resolution directing the City Manager to determine the cost to Austin taxpayers of processing plastic bags in the waste stream. The resolution was Co-Sponsored by Council Member Chris Riley and Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez. The resolution was Item No. 79 on the Austin City Council agenda.
The resolution was passed:
"BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN:
The City Manager is directed 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."
As you can see by the approved resolution, there is no mention of a plastic bag ban. It is a known fact that plastic bags aren't free. It cost the taxpayers money to process them in a waste facility. The Council wants to know exactly how much it costs per bag. The Council wants this information by September 23, 2010.
It has been said that Mayor Leffingwell wants a ban on plastic bags. After retiring, Mr. Leffingwell was a full-time community volunteer with a focus on environmental causes. He served on the City's Environmental Board and was the Board's Chairman for several years. There are also several local environmental groups calling for a plastic bag ban.
The following is a video report from KXAN TV in Austin, Tx.
Currently, there is only one Texas city that has banned plastic bags and that is the City of Brownsville. Read our report: Brownsville Bans Plastic Bags.