POSTED: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - 10:06am
UPDATED: Thursday, January 6, 2011 - 12:06am
Brownsville will be the first city in the state and the 12th city in the nation to ban plastic bags.
What will take the place of the plastic bags? These: reusable bags. All shoppers will be required to bring their own reusable bags each and every time they go to the store.
But what happens if city officials catch residents carrying plastic bags? Health Director for the City of Brownsville, art Rodriguez, says not to worry.
Brownsville’s city commission passed the new ordinance in December 2009 for one major reason: protect the environment. The motto is to keep the city clean. The plastic bag monster says plastic bags create headaches throughout the city.
Director of Healthy Communities of Brownsville, Rose Timmer, has pushed for this ban since it was first introduced. She came up with the “Plastic Bag Monster” to create awareness.
For this new ban to succeed, officials say retailers and residents play a huge role. They must work hand in hand. Retailers had a year to transition to the new law.
If retailers are caught issuing plastic bags at the checkout counter, they can be penalized up to $500 every time they're caught.