Two bills currently in the works

Last modified on March 4, 2009 by Site Administrator

The first bill, SB 338, HB 1867, was introduced by Senator Leticia Van de Putte and co-sponsored by Representative Rafael Anchia in December 2008. This legislation would require stores that distribute plastic checkout bags provide recycling bins and make reusable shopping bags available for purchase. In addition, all distributed plastic bags will be required to have a recycling reminder printed on them.

The second is HB 1361, which was filed by Representative Rafael Anchia on February 17th as . This bill would impose a 7-cent tax on plastic bags that would be split between retailers and statewide recycling efforts.

In the past, Austin, El Paso and Arlington have all considered plastic bag bans, but decided to pursue greater recycling efforts instead. In a voluntary data collecting program last year, five major retailers studied the effectiveness of providing recycling bins and reusable bags to customers. In six months, plastic bag recycling rose 20 percent, 443,227 reusable bags were sold, and demand for plastic bags dropped significantly. These results were deemed a success and opened up the possibility of launching educational programs on reusable bags before imposing outright bans or taxes. According to KFOX, City Representative Susie Byrd of District 2 stated, "It is not the best option. We are not quite ready to begin banning and taxing plastic bags."


HB 1361, 1867 from Texas Legislature Online, February 17, 2009
The current status of House Bill 1361 and 1867 can be found using the Legislation lookup tool. The first bill was filed on February 17, 2009 by Representative Rafael Anchia and aims to impose a fee for certain types of plastic bags provided to customers by retailers. The second bill was filed on December 5, 2008 by Senator Van de Putte and Representative Anchia. This bill looks to establish requirements for businesses that offer plastic checkout bags to customers and outlines civil and administrative penalties for non-compliance.

Plastic bags would be taxed under Texas bill from Dallas News, February 27, 2009

This local news article provides an overview of representative Rafael Anchia’s proposal of a 7-cent bag tax. It also covers Senator Leticia Van de Putte’s proposal for an educational outreach program to inform consumers about reusable bags and plastic bag recycling and briefly addresses other places with similar proposals.

Plastic Bags May Cost 7 Cents To Use from KFOX14 on March 2, 2009
Another news brief that captures the skepticism of residents and City Representatives over an outright tax on plastic bags. Although the aim of HB 1361 is to reduce the use of plastic bags, lawmakers allegedly want to discuss the issue with retailers before taking action.

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