According to a recent article, the Dallas City Council is no closer to voting on a single-use plastic bag ban, than it was in back in the spring. The subject was once again returned to the Dallas city council for a number of hearings, which included representatives from the plastic bag industry, the Texas Retailers Association and environmental groups.
Everyone had their chance to plead their case, points and counter points were disputed, everyone had their fair share of data and exhibits. It would now appear that the Dallas city council is more than likely moving towards imposing a fee on single use plastic shopping bags of some kind, rather than coming down in favor of an outright ban. Almost all the speakers agreed that a ban on single use plastic bags won’t make Dallas (or any other city…I am talking to you San Fran) litter-free. Some were of the opinion that it would help, others with a much clearer grasp on reality explained it would not help much.
The Texas Retailers Association, is decidedly against a plastic bag ban. Rather than a city enforced crackdown there needs to be a public education campaign on recycling. What people fail to realize is that an all out ban is not comprehensive. It would not effect those that MUST use plastic bags, such as restaurants, dry cleaners, newspapers, ice bags, shrink wrapping, bread bags, nearly all food packaging, bottles, caps…..the list goes on and on. Oh! and lets not forget all of the cardboard box items that are either wrapped in plastic or contains a plastic bag inside, such as cereal boxes. Go try to explain to Kellogs or Post that they cannot sell cereal in Dallas anymore. Good Luck with that. For the longest time I have been shouting from the rooftops that an all out ban in any city would simply be “spitting in the wind. It is nice to see that the city of Dallas is run by politicians that do not have their heads in the sand.
A member of the Texas Campaign for the Environment disagreed with those that oppose an all out ban when it came time for the environmentalists to make their case. This knucklehead said “I have a big stash of them in my car”.“I don’t think anyone throws them away.” He went on to say that if the bag manufacturers are so worried about losing jobs due to bag bans, then perhaps they could make those reusable bags as opposed to, say, the Chinese.
The above statement was made by a fool with no clue as to what effect it would have on the families that survive on the production of plastic bags. This genius’ analogy is equal to asking the big auto makers that pollute the environment to simply stop producing cars and start making bicycles instead. Just trash millions of dollars of equipment to satisfy the miniscule amount pollution created by single use bags. Which can be avoided with proper enforceable, taxable recycling programs. For the sake of this post and to protect the rights of others, I want tell you the name of the “mental midget” that made this comment.
All sides pleaded their case. In the end, everyone agreed upon one thing, The Dallas’ recycling program has flaws, among them the inability to recycle most of the thin plastic films that are used everyday beyond the scope of the demonized single use plastic shopping bag. Properly educating the public is the only real solution. Do what NYC is doing, slap a fee on bag usage, start a comprehensive ad campaign and enforce a mandatory recycling program on ALL PLASTIC! Thank you!