plastic bags

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

A campaign has begun to create a plastic bag ban in San Antonio.  It’s headed up by Bexar County Young Democrats.

President Gabrien Gregory says they have three goals.  One is to educate and encourage people to go about their lifestyle a little differently.

“We want to encourage people to reuse instead of picking up the same single use plastic bag every day that they go to the HEB or the grocery store,” says Gregory.

They want to encourage the San Antonio City Council and Mayor to look into alternatives and ways that they can impact a cleaner environment.

Homeowners, industry leaders and those in the oil and gas business provided some heated testimony about a bill that would have required cities to take prior approval for all local referendums in future.  

The bill by Weatherford Republican Rep. Phil King was created in response to the City of Denton’s ban on “fracking”, but it would have affected other city ordinances that voters were able to get on a ballot using petitions.  

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed SB 270, the first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags in the U.S.

"This bill is a step in the right direction — it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself," Brown said. "We're the first to ban these bags, and we won't be the last."

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

There are strong opinions in the debate over a proposed plastic bag ban. The idea has bounced back and forth between committee meetings so far, and according to staff members it will go before the full San Antonio City Council this month.

In the meantime, the 10 council members and mayor have received plenty of responses from the public. Their offices report they've received about 1,400 emails and letters, and an overwhelming number have been favorable toward a ban. Only five, they say, were opposed.

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

San Antonio city leaders are in the middle of discussions on a possible ban on single-use plastic bags. The topic comes as cities across the country are taking drastic steps to reduce the use of plastic bags to cut down on litter.

Most people would agree they're bad for the environment, but opponents say a proposed bag ban could unfairly target the poor because reusable bags cost money, and they're a burden to carry around for those without a vehicle.

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