AUSTIN - Today, the Texas Supreme Court overturned plastic bag ordinances in Laredo, Austin and other Texas cities. In January, Environment Texas joined with retailers Natural Grocers and Bicycle Sports Shop in submitting an amicus brief in City of Laredo v. Laredo Merchants Association supporting the rights of cities to ban plastic bags.
"We are very disappointed in today's ruling," said Environment Texas Executive Director Luke Metzger. "Plastic pollution is harming wildlife, marring the beauty of our cities, and threatening our health, safety and economy. Nothing we use for five minutes should pollute our environment for hundreds of years. We call on major retailers, like HEB and Wal-Mart, to continue observing the ban in these cities and ask the Legislature to remove the preemption statute."
Single use plastic bags litter our beaches, already the trashiest in America, and our waterways. Turtles and birds frequently ingest floating plastic, mistaking it for food. They also get entangled in bags and often drown or die of suffocation.
Adult birds inadvertently feed small bits of plastic to their chicks — often causing them to starve to death after their stomachs become filled with plastic.
Plastic bags also clog outboard motors on boats, cotton gins, and storm drains, where they can exacerbate flooding.
Environment Texas is currently going door to door talking to Texans about the problems of plastic pollution, including bags, straws and polystyrene (commonly known as Styrofoam).