Laredo Council member reacts to AG opinion on plastic bag bans

Days after the Texas Attorney General published an opinion on the legality of plastic bag bans, a Laredo council member weighs in on whether it will affect the city

Attorney General Greg Abbott wrote Friday that plastic bag bans are against existing state law, when written to control solid waste demands.

LAREDO, TEXAS (KGNS) - A Laredo council member said the city's ban on plastic bags will not be affected by a recent opinion by the Texas Attorney General.

Friday Attorney General weighed in on the legality of plastic bag ordinances, writing such bans are in some cases illegal.

That's specifically if they're used to meet the needs of solid waste or trash collection -- because an existing health statute bans such ordinances.

Laredo passed an across-the-board on plastic bags in May. It is set to take effect next April.

Council Member Roque Vela Jr. said the Laredo ordinance should remain on the books because it states it's addressing an environmental need.

"This had been going on behind the scenes for a while now. And had we taken action four years ago whenever this first came up I think we would have probably had to make some changes," said Vela.

"But because a lot of this had already been going on behind the scenes and we were aware of it, we drew up our ordinance, we tailored it to where it wouldn't be affected."

Vela was active in the recent drafting of a final ordinance.

Laredo's upcoming ordinance will ban nearly all retailers from giving out plastic checkout bags.


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