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Dallas City Council To Debate Plastic Bag Ban

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Elizabeth Dinh
Elizabeth joined CBS 11 News from Seattle's KOMO-TV in December 2...
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Debate resumes on Wednesday in Dallas over whether or not to allow businesses to keep using plastic bags. The Dallas City Council is set to look at the highly contested issue and discuss a wide range of options, including a complete ban.

The council is not expected to vote on the issue on Wednesday, but they will talk about it extensively. The topic has been addressed by the council a few times before. The debate about possibly implementing a plastic bag ban in Dallas was first presented to city officials last August.

Supporters of the plastic bag ban, like city councilman Dwaine Caraway, say that the bags fly around the city and easily get stuck. This not only pollutes Dallas, but makes it look unsightly as well.

However, opponents have said that they worry about the impact such a ban would have on jobs, thinking about those individuals who make the plastic bags.

This is not simply an issue of banning the plastic bags or not. Officials have a few different options to consider. They could decide on a middle ground, where grocery stores could use plastic bags, but be required to charge a fee. Stores could also take part in a mandatory or voluntary program that would promote the recycling of plastic bags.

Several other locations across the United States, including Austin, have already made the decision to ban plastic bags. Shoppers there are encouraged to bring reusable bags instead. Austin bought tens of thousands of tote bags and put together a large public education program to help citizens understand and adjust to the change.

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