Texas Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on Laredo Bag Ban

January 11th was an interesting day at the Texas Supreme Court. Laredo’s lawyer, former Texas Supreme Court justice Dale Wainwright skillfully presented the arguments supporting Laredo’s ban. The case seems to hinge on interpretations of whether banning plastic bags equates to “solid waste management” or “source reduction”, which Mr. Wainwright correctly pointed out, aims to reduce the amount of bags handed by retailers out BEFORE they can become a waste. Also, when Texas Health and Safety Code Sec. 361.0961 was written in 1993 (It states “A local government or other political subdivision may not adopt an ordinance, rule, or regulation to prohibit or restrict, for solid waste management purposes, the sale or use of a container or package in a manner not authorized by state law;”) was anyone in Texas even talking about plastic bag bans, or was it really intended to deal with bottles and styrofoam cups? (the latter is true)

It is now up to the justices to decide whether Laredo should retain local control to deal with a major environmental and aesthetic problem as they see fit, or if the State will restrict their home rule and allow the problem to continue.


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01 2018