Could plastic bag ban be lifted? Texas Supreme Court hears case

Single Use Bag Ordinance in Austin has removed 50,000 pounds of plastic from annual waste.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — There’s a chance a ban on plastic bags could be banned. The Texas Supreme Court is hearing a case out of Laredo, Texas, Thursday that could have statewide effects.

The Laredo Merchants Association will present oral arguments, saying that the city of Laredo’s decision to no longer let businesses use plastic bags is illegal. The group says an existing state law regarding solid waste disposal pre-empts the city rules.

If the Supreme Court agrees with its position, that would likely overturn similar bag bans across the state.

Robin Schneider of the Texas Campaign for the Environment says that would force them to return to the State Legislature to lobby for a new state law.

“If we lose, we go back to the Legislature to make it clear single use bag ordinances are OK, and you know we are not banning all bags, we are just banning the ones that cause the most pollution problems,” she said.

Lobbying lawmakers may prove fruitless though given its conservative makeup. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has repeatedly criticized bag bans in the past, calling them an unnecessary regulation.

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