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City Council Pushes Plastic Bag Ban Discussion To May

Flickr user Trisha Weir

A plastic bag ban is getting closer to becoming reality in San Antonio. Wednesday, the City Council's Governance Committee forwarded the item to a full city council briefing session in May.

San Antonio city staff members are recommending a full ban on single-use plastic bags, but the debate has left many people close to the issue still questioning what action should be taken. Other proposals have included a partial ban, charging people a fee for using plastic bags, or increasing recycling efforts. The latter is already in the works with an August start date for residents to place their plastic bags in their home recycling bins.

District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg said he believes there are several things to still figure out, like the effects a bag ban would have on different socio-economic groups, potential health impacts, and the intended goals of a possible bag ban.

City staff, following the councilman who initiated the bag ban proposal, District 7 Councilman Cris Medina, want to remove bags fully and don't see implementing exceptions as a way to get to that end goal.

Nirenberg said he wants to clarify what the goal is as the discussion continues. The city council will hear the issue at the end of May, with a possible vote on a plastic bag ban to take place soon after.

"San Antonio is not Dallas, we're not Brownsville," he said of two Texas cities that have already impolpemented bag bans. San Antonio has many things to consider, he noted, before the council decides the best decision for this city.