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October 22, 2008

Dallas council refuses to tax or ban plastic shopping bags

The Dallas Morning News 10.14.08Dallas_news_2

The City Council appears unlikely to tax and ultimately ban plastic shopping bags, despite a recommendation from staffers that Dallas do away with them for environmental reasons...

The plan [Eric Griffin, interim director of the city’s Office of Environmental Quality] suggested involved seeking state authority to levy a fee of 5 cents per bag on consumers in Dallas to initiate a ban in three to five years if the fee did not substantially reduce the number of bags used.

Our Take:

Dallas would have joined the likes of Ireland in passing a bag fee – the most successful government initiative to overconsumption of plastic and paper bags. As in Seattle, industry interests are effectively squashing the issue with misinformation and money, and legislators aren’t fighting back – whether because of a lack of resources or simply feeling overpowered.

They’re missing out: Ireland's PlasTax cut plastic bag consumption by 90% and generated $9.6 million in its first year alone, earmarked to improve the environment. Talk about a win-win (or in this case, a lose-lose).

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the Metro Vancouver board just circulated a motion to petition the Provincial Government to ban the bag. This follows a resolution that I wrote to ban the bag that was ratified at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities this year. this means that all the cities in the province want a comprehensive ban. This took myself and a small group of local politicians 2 years to finally make a breakthrough. The argument was that this was just the start of an examination of everything that goes into our waste stream instead of just trying to deal with what comes out the other end. The tanking of the commodities markets will help our cause in the long run.

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