Plastic Bag Ban

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled Laredo can't ban the use of single-use bags. At issue was whether the city could ban bags under the state law regulating so-called solid waste management.

Julia Reihs / KUT

A decision expected soon from the state Supreme Court could hobble Austin's ability to regulate plastic bag litter and contamination.

Muliadi Soenaryo

A Texas Supreme Court hearing on plastic bags Thursday could have implications that spread across the state faster than such bags blowing in the wind. 

The court will hear oral arguments in the case, Laredo Merchants Association v. The City of Laredo, in which the merchants’ association is arguing a ban on single-use bags by the city is illegal because an existing state law regulating solid waste disposal pre-empts it.

Miguel Gutierrez, Jr./KUT News

Last week, a report commissioned by the City of Austin was released which looked at the effect of the plastic bag ban in the city.

The report says that, in the two years since the Austin City Council banned single-use plastic bags, Austin reduced its annual consumption of plastic bags by nearly 75 percent. But some researchers say that’s not entirely true.

Miguel Gutierrez, Jr./KUT News

*This post has been updated since Wednesday.

Two years after the city of Austin banned single-use plastic bags, a new report estimates Austinites have used nearly 200 million fewer plastic bags annually — a 75 percent reduction.

That report was presented Wednesday evening to Austin’s Zero Waste Advisory Commission.

While the estimated reduction in plastic bag use has gotten a lot of attention, another finding of the report has received much less: Single-use bags have been replaced in Austin recycling streams by another type of bag — the reusable plastic bag.

Pages