Dallas Plastic Bag Fee Repealed

6/4/15
 
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from NBCDFW5,
6/3/15:

Plastic bags will soon be free again in Dallas.

In a vote of 10 to 4, Dallas City Council members voted to repeal the bag fee passed in 2014.

Last year’s resolution added a $.05 fee for each single-use plastic bag used by shoppers to encourage people to use reusable bags and to reduce litter.

The ban went into effect Jan. 1.

“We’re gonna take this nick on the chin,” said Dallas City Councilman Dwaine Caraway, who originally pushed for the ban, after Wednesday’s vote. “Y’all celebrate. Just celebrate. But when it’s time to raise taxes, just remember, this vote today was one where you’re taking Dallas backwards.”

The bag fee ends on Monday, June 8.

Paying for plastic never pleased many shoppers.

“I never did like it,” said shopper Laverne Hood. “I just think it’s unnecessary. I mean, it’s ridiculous if you ask me.”

Many small business owners also applaud the fee’s repeal and the extra regulations that went with it.

“I don’t have to worry about it. I don’t have to worry about looking for another company to get my bags straight. It’s something we have to go through too, you know,” said Trent La, with Food Rite grocery store.

Bag manufacturers even sued the city over the ordinance, and large grocery chains were never big fans, either.

“We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from customers who, 1. did not like the fee, and 2. were confused by the fee,” said Gary Huddleston, with Kroger.

Now environmentalists are disappointed the fee is going away after just six months on the books.

“It was working just fine to reduce litter and trash and pollution,” said Zac Trahan, with the Texas Campaign for the Environment. “People should always bring their own bags when they go shopping. That was the point of the ordinance in the first place.”

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