DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas’ plastic bag fee ordinance may violate state law, according to an attorney general’s opinion.

This could lead to the city outright banning single-use plastic bags.

Dallas Councilman Dwaine Caraway said, “If we’re pushed, we’ll drop the fee and institute the full ban.”

Caraway first proposed banning plastic bags more than a year ago.  He said the council “compromised” with retailers by instead voting for a 5-cent per bag ordinance.  It’s set to go into effect at the beginning of next year.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said whether a plastic bag ban violates state law comes down to intent.  If a city passes a ban “for solid waste management purposes, it could violate state law, according to Abbott’s opinion.

Caraway said single-use plastic bags have become a major litter issue and banning the bags is in the interested of public health and welfare.

Gary Huddleston with the Texas Retailers Association, said the Attorney General’s opinion that the 5-cent fee conflicts with state law is “good news for customers in the City of Dallas who are facing paying a fee for a paper or plastic bag at a retail store.”

Huddleston added he hopes the city council will now ”re-evaluate” its position on an outright ban.

Abbott’s issued opinion is not legally binding.  A court will ultimately have to decided intent.
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