City of Austin Unanimously Approves Single Use Plastic Bag Ban

Starting with a very late night discussion and early morning vote, on March 2nd, the city council unanimously approved the single use plastic bag ban that has been hotly debated over the past year.  The ordinance goes into effect on March 1, 2013 and unlike some previous proposals there will be no interim fee on disposable bags.   As a result of the new ordinance retailers will only be able to offer reusable bags , those made of cloth fabrics or more durable materials, and paper and plastic bags of sufficient thickness and with handles.

Disposable or  single-use bags used for meat, produce and bulk foods will be exempt from the new ordinance,  as well as, restaurant carry-out and delivery, newspaper delivery, and dry cleaning.  Additionally, charities and nonprofits that distribute food and other items to the needy will still be able to utilize disposable plastic bags.

The Central Texas Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, applauds the city council for their forward thinking efforts, and looks forward to assisting communities throughout Texas with future single-use plastic education and ordinances.