The War on Bags has conquered Austin and Brownsville and is now moving down to the city of San Antonio. The Alamo city’s freedom to use single-use plastic bags may be sacked by council members who will come forward to the public on Tuesday with their proposal.
Cris Medina, District 7 Councilman, is the main sponsor of the bag ordinance and believes that “it’s time for [San Antonio] to make a move.” He argues that “cities across the country have already decided that the pollution, the environmental impact and really, the mess that these bags cause is costly.” According to a public letter directed to his constituents, he “looks forward to working with them to craft a solution that eliminates the litter and helps us redirect those wasted tax dollars to our critical needs.”
How much tax dollars are plastic bags really wasting?
What Medina should have said was that he only cares about a ‘tiny fraction’ of wasted tax dollars and more about governmental nannyism, especially since the American Chemistry Council discovered these bags make up less than 0.5% of the municipal solid waste stream.
Seemingly inspired by the bag bans in Austin and Brownsville, Medina is trying to bring this nanny state concept to a whole new level. The proposed San Antonio ban will also make paper bags a target, along with placing restrictions on all retail establishments such as department stores and dry cleaners.
According to Dya Campos, an HEB spokesman, there has been an extraordinary amount of criticism and objection from local shoppers. Dya says, “the plastic bag bans in Brownsville and Austin are extremely difficult on our customers.” HEB isn’t the only retailer who believes the ban is taxing on consumers and businesses.
Ronnie Volkening, CEO of Texas Retailers Association, believes that the ban also threatens jobs in Texas. He says the “ban isn’t a progressive thought. It shuts down innovation.” Overall, Volkening believes that the proposal would negatively affect retailers and low-income citizens, during which a time they can least afford it.
Medina believes that the community of San Antonio will back the city council members on this ordinance push, despite what Campos argues. “It’s an important issue, but mostly what we’ve seen in our experience is that it is something our costumers overwhelmingly do not enjoy,” says Campos. The HEB spokesman says “let the public decide” on the issue of single-use bags, but from HEB’s experience in Austin and Brownsville, it seems pretty clear what the answer will be to Medina and his proposed ordinance to further the War on Bags.