Laredo bag ban ruling could set precedent for Texas - Brownsville Herald: Local News

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Laredo bag ban ruling could set precedent for Texas

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, August 24, 2016 10:00 pm

A state appeals court ruling against Laredo’s plastic bag ban could spell trouble for similar ordinances around the state, including Brownsville’s.

The 4th Court of Appeals on Aug. 17 overturned a lower court ruling and sided with the plaintiff in Laredo Merchants Association v. City of Laredo in striking down that city’s ban.

In a 2-1 decision, the appeals court ruled that the ban goes against a Texas law — contained in the state’s Health and Safety Code — that prohibits making a rule to “prohibit or restrict, for solid waste management purposes, the sale or use of a container or package in a manner not authorized by state law.”

City of Laredo attorneys argued, unsuccessfully, that the city’s interest in banning bags had nothing to do with “waste management” but was simply to fight litter. That’s the same argument the nonprofit Healthy Communities of Brownsville Inc. made in pushing for Brownsville’s ordinance six years ago.

Before the local ordinance was implemented, flimsy single-use plastic bags were a common sight in trees, along fence lines and in resacas. By any objective measure, they are a much rarer sight now than they were before the ordinance, which imposed a $1 fee on customers requesting single-use bags at the point of sale.

Ryan Greenfeld, spokesman for Brownsville Public Utility Board, said in an email that BPUB maintains a neutral stance on such issues but supports the city of Brownsville and “will follow and enforce any laws that are passed by the city.”

At the same time, BPUB has encountered issues with plastic bags during the course of its Resaca Restoration Project, he said.

“BPUB crews have removed a considerable amount of plastic bags from our waterways, and we do want residents to be aware of the problems that these bags can cause for our city’s resacas and the wildlife within them,” Greenfeld said.

sclark@brownsvilleherald.com

A more complete version of this story is available on www.myBrownsvilleHerald.com

Follow us on Facebook

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




Online Features

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>