Plastic bag ban cities in Texas may see ban lifted

Plastic bag ban cities in Texas may see ban lifted

(KWES) - You'll find plastic bags left on the ground in many places. That's why some Texas cities have the ban on plastic bags for now.

"Plastic bags are really an issue as far as an eye sore and they're creating more waste to use those instead of using a reusable bag," said Executive Director Amanda Byrom with Keep Midland Beautiful.

Studies show in a landfill, just one plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to degrade on its own. But it's estimated around 100 billion plastic bags are thrown away every year. That's why there's cities like Pecos and Fort Stockton that have plastic bag bans.

"It works really well," said Fort Stockton Mayor, Chris Alexander. "I would hate to see what our city would look like without the ban."

Local businesses like Fidel's Grocery, had to rely on getting paper bags to use rather than plastic when the plastic bag ban was enforced.

"It was more expensive, not harder, but more expensive," said Adelina Salazar with Fidel's Grocery.

Soon, these stores could see some change. Senate Bill 103 is a bill that was filed which would allow any business to provide or sell a bag made of any material, that includes plastic. In addition, no city would be allowed to enforce or create an ordinance to stop that business from providing or selling bags to a customer. If the bill is passed, that means all cities across the state are free to go back to using any type of bag they choose.

"I think it'll be great," said Salazar. "Because then we can use plastic bags. It'll be easier and it's easier to bag as well."

Even though there's cities like Midland that don't have the plastic bag ban, groups like Keep Midland Beautiful say a little goes a long way and encourage others to use reusable grocery bags to replace plastic bags instead.

"Let's all work together to meet the common goal to reducing our waste," said Byrom. "Reducing our space in the landfill so it benefits others to reduce that in whichever way we can."

If you have plastic bags that you need recycled, you can drop them off at Albertson's, HEB and Walmart in the containers near the entrance.

For more information on recycling in Midland, visit Keep Midland Beautiful.

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