Austin Continues To Plan For Plastic Bag Ban

Austin TexasWith the successful one year plastic bag ban in Brownsville this month, Austin continues their talks towards their own ban.  The next official meeting will be held in March.

In the mean time, Austin Resource Recovery is preparing the ordiance guidelines.  ARR wants to make sure they give retailers enough time to use the plastic bags they have already ordered, as well as give them time to train their employees on the ban and begin a community campaign to prepare residents to use reusable grocery bags.

At this time, talks are of a $1.00 transaction fee will be charged to customers who do not bring in their own reusable shopping bags before the ban is officially enacted.  This is the same fee outline that Brownsville is using.  It is a flat fee of $1.00 per transaction whether the customer uses one plastic bag or ten.  This is to simplify the check out process by not having to count bags being used or negotiating the number of bags needed with customers.  Once the ban has been enacted, only paper bags will be  available for the $1.00 fee.

The plan right now is to begin the $1.00 transaction fee in March 2013, and the actual ban to begin March 2014.  This will give the community one year to get use to using reusable grocery bags before the fee starts.  The goal of the city is not to make a lot of money from the fee, but to get customers to change their habits and use eco friendly bags.  The fees collected will go towards city clean up efforts.

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