Environmental advocates rally against Shopping Bag Freedom Act - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Environmental advocates rally against Shopping Bag Freedom Act

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So far at least six communities have passed local single use bags ordinances. The recently passed ban in Austin continues to receive acceptance and opposition.

A couple of weeks ago Freshman Rep. Drew Springer caused a stir when he presented a bill denouncing the bag ban.

Wednesday, proponents of the single bag issue took their case straight to the office of Representative Springer.

When Austin passed its plastic bag ban at the beginning of March it was meet with opposition.

Rep. Drew Springer filed his own Bill-2416 the shopping bag Freedom Act to prevent local government's from banning single use plastic bags. 

"I was surprised at how brazenly opposed to local control it was" Andrew Dobbs with Texas Campaign for the Environment said.

Dobbs thinks Springer's Bill needs to be bagged.

"Here is just out front and center saying we don't think local government should have the right to determine this for themselves. Austin knows better than local governments and we think that's inappropriate," Dobbs said.

The plastic bag ban is gaining momentum in state. Gino Solla the health director from Ector County tried to have the ban passed in Odessa. It failed once but he'll keep trying.

"I think there's probably a leeway to take some initiative and if not a total ban then to move toward some kind of control of the litter we have in bags," said Solla.

Solla sees too much plastic bag pollution in the Odessa area and he is totally convinced Austin's bag ban is right on.

"In my mind Austin is doing the right thing and I hope the state senators and representatives do the right thing as well," said Solla.

What would a demonstration be without some theatrics? To give equal time Plastic bag monster wants plastic bags back in Austin and didn't expect a warm welcome with this group.

"Unfortunately we are here in Austin, they've already banned me," plastic bag monster said.

To make a statement, the group decided to visit Springer's office with reusable bags in hand.

"This way we'll make sure he has plenty for visitors," said Dobbs.

Representative Springer was on the floor, but that didn't keep the group from delivering the goods.

"We're here to deliver these reusable bags," said Dobbs.

Springer's staff was cordial but cool and finally 'plastic bag monster' found some friends.

"He's a champion for individuals like myself," plastic bag monster said.

"He's a nasty dude, but the good news that is the people of Austin sent him out of town and hopefully other local governments will take the lead on that across the state," Dobbs said.

Those supporters of the bag ban believe local government should deal with local issues not state government.

While shoppers continue to get used to the bag ban in the city, Sunset Valley is the most recent to ban single use plastic bags.

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