Paxton Warns 11 Cities Bag Bans Are Now Unenforceable

Jul 3, 2018

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sent letters to 11 Texas cities, warning them their plastic bag ban is now unenforceable because of a recent ruling by the Texas Supreme Court. But one of those cities is now examining whether they are actually violating that ruling.


Paxton’s letters target cities with some type of plastic bag ban in place, including Austin, Sunset Valley, Port Aransas, Laguna Vista, Fort Stockton, Eagle Pass, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Kermit, Freer and South Padre Island.

The attorney general said the letters were sent to ensure city governments were aware of the recent Texas Supreme Court ruling that struck down Laredo’s ban on plastic shopping bags used by local businesses.

But officials in Corpus Christi aren’t sure if their bag ban falls within the court’s ruling.

 

Credit Ryan Poppe

Kim Womack, the city's communications director, said the ban was meant to protect outdoor areas, including the beaches.

“Our plastic shopping bag ban is very different than most cities in Texas. We only ban on city facilities, at a city sponsored events or an event held on city property. So we are not dictating to citizens or retailers,” Womack said.

In his letter, Paxton said any ordinances involving a bag ban are now unenforceable.

Womack said the city's legal department is currently examining the court's decision.

Ryan Poppe can be reached at rpoppe@tpr.org or on Twitter @RyanPoppe1