This is just more eco-environmentalist Marxist / Nazi agenda. Global warming hype. The citizens of Brownsville has allowed the local communist to take control of their community. Another law on the books to control the individual. So these elitist, just who are they? They know better than the common citizen? This falls under tyranny, you can call it what you will, but when you pull back the cover it is what it is. I am sorry to see this happen in the Great Republic of Texas. We do not need more Government, what we need is individual responsibility. Families need to teach their children not to throw trash on the road, keep it contained etc.
Ok now for the article.
Brownsville set to ban the bag
Single-use plastics are out; reusables are in.
By Lynn Brezosky
Published: 11:28 p.m., Monday, January 3, 2011
BROWNSVILLE — The eyes of retail will be on Brownsville this week as the city forges ahead as the first in Texas to ban single-use plastic bags.
The ordinance against the so-called “urban tumbleweeds” starts Wednesday, and merchants from the big-box national retailers on down are on board with a mix of reusable bags for sale. That’s in addition to the tens of thousands of bags given away at community events last year.
“We’ve got national support for a local cause,” said Rose Timmer, executive director of Healthy Communities of Brownsville, the nonprofit group that championed the ban.
The ban, originally set to take effect Saturday, was delayed to avoid added confusion from the New Year’s Day holiday and the early-month surge of shoppers getting an infusion of funds on their Lone Star public assistance cards.
Residents who haven’t bought or picked up any of the freebie reusable bags will have to bring bags from home or pay a $1 surcharge at the register to have goods packed in the stores’ remaining single-use bags.
Lone Star cards will not cover the bag purchase or surcharge.
That’s a minor glitch, said city Commissioner Edward Camarillo, who carried the measure to unanimous commission approval last January.
“Over the past six to 12 months, obviously we’ve been in a mode to plan and research and kind of troubleshoot,” he said. “We expect that on (Wednesday), people may be a little bothered or a little upset because maybe they didn’t realize this was happening, although we’ve been talking about this for an entire year.”
The aim, he said, is to combat pollution and free up landfill space.
“If you go along the expressway in Brownsville you’ll see the litter, and the majority of the litter is plastic bags,” he said. “They get into our gutters and drainage systems.”
Grants from retailers — H-E-B provided $50,000 — helped Healthy Communities with a citywide marketing plan including billboards, media spots and bus advertisements featuring “Rio the Parrot,” the city’s mascot.
The city and Healthy Communities had weekly meetings throughout last year, he said, with representatives from H-E-B, Walmart, JC Penney and Target among those weighing in. The city will have a hotline set up to field questions and complaints.
Naysayers have said shoppers will simply go to neighboring communities rather than be inconvenienced, but Camarillo said that’s empty talk.
“Look at the price of gasoline right now,” he said. “We don’t believe that this is going to cause them to drive out of their way to another community just because there is no plastic bag. … Realistically, I don’t see that happening at all.”
At least one resident disagrees.
Fred Garza, 21, said he expects “chaos.” He said many people, including himself, use the single-use bags to line waste bins or clean up after pets, and he thinks it would be even more wasteful to have to buy the bags from the paper goods aisle.
“I think some of us are talking about maybe just shopping in other locations to avoid the hassle,” he said. “I think it’s going to harm businesses more than help them out.”
The ordinance affects all stores, including shops in Brownsville’s Sunrise Mall. There are exceptions, Camarillo said, such as for packaging meat and fish and for dry cleaning and garment bags, floral arrangements and pharmaceuticals.
Customers can use bags they bring into stores, including used single-use ones carrying logos of competing stores.
Some stores, such as the mall’s bookstore, do not plan to provide or sell bags. Others, such as JC Penney, have had $1.99 reusable cloth bags for sale for some time and are eager to see how reusable plastic bags costing 20 and 30 cents will do.
None of the retailers contacted planned to substitute paper bags, which are costly and, according to some studies, just as bad for the environment as single-use plastic.
Cities and countries around the world have been considering similar bans, with American Samoa enacting its ban Feb. 23. San Francisco has had one in place since 2007. Madison, Wis., has a mandatory plastic bag recycling law, and Washington, D.C., has a 5-cent tax.
Texas cities including Austin and Laredo have tried and failed to enact measures to reduce plastic bag waste.