City councilors in Dallas will vote on an ordinance tomorrow morning that would ban grocery and convenience stores from handing out single-use plastic bags for free to customers. In effect, the proposal is a partial ban, requiring store customers to pay either $0.10 per plastic bag or $1.00 per transaction at the discretion of the retailer.
“On Wednesday, the 26th, this will be history,” said Dallas City Councilman Dwaine Caraway, in a recent interview with a local TV station. “We do have the votes. We will pass it. We'll begin to make Dallas a clean and green comfortable city.”
The ordinance also allows stores to pocket up to half of the fees they collect, but only if they offer customers rebates of $0.05 per reusable bag the customer brings in. Stores must offer education as well to teach customers about the value of sustainability.
While the partial ban is most likely to pass, city councilors can also consider two alternative ordinances – an outright ban and another titled the “responsible retailer.” The latter option lets businesses register their stores and provide statistics on the number of single-use bags handed out and collected for recycling. The ordinance would force businesses to print their name on all single-use bags, and follow a list of training and collection practices. Each participating store location would have to pay $55 as well.
If a partial ban passes, it will take effect on January 15, 2015.