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Dallas City Leaders Hear From Plastic Bag Ban Opponents

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – One city councilman in Dallas wants to ban plastic bags. In response, a group of local retailers are gathering today to let the city council and mayor know that residents don’t want such a move.

Councilman Dwaine Caraway presented the bag ban idea months ago, saying it would be good for the environment and cut down on litter.

Gary Huddleston is a spokesperson for area Kroger stores and he says such a ban would only hurt customers financially. “The ordinance calls for banning both plastic and paper bags. So, then the customers would have to purchase a reusable bag in order to take their products from the retail store and get them home.”

Plastic grocery bags are seen in the back of a vehicle. (credit: evork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Plastic grocery bags are seen in the back of a vehicle. (credit: evork Djansezian/Getty Images)

In the past Caraway had proposed that grocery stores and product manufacturers pay for and/or sponsor reusable bags that would be given to customers at no cost.

Huddleston said he and some other members of the Texas Retailers Association also have something to present to the council. “We’re revealing the results of a petition drive that literally thousands of signatures were collected over a couple of weekends in several retail stores,” he said. “We’re gonna present those to Mayor Rawlings and members of City Council to show that most of the customers believe that a plastic bag and paper bag ban is not good for the City of Dallas.”

In 2012 alone, Huddleston said Kroger recycled more than two million pounds of plastic. He says there is an answer to the plastic bag problem and it isn’t a ban. “The real solution is having more locations to recycle plastic, not only just plastic bags but [also] other forms of plastic,” Huddleston said, adding that there also needs to be a push toward education, “… to make sure that residents know where to recycle plastic.”

Caraway’s proposal would prohibit the retail use of thin, single-use carryout plastic and paper bags. But there would be exceptions that would include items like garbage bags; trashcan liners; restaurant carryout bags and dry cleaning bags.

Earlier this year the city of Austin banned disposable plastic and paper bags and other Texas cities, including Houston, are considering bans.

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