Brownsville Residents may have noticed the $1.00 plastic bag fee at checkout disappear.
That is because the city approved the second and final reading to the plastic bag ordinance.
As of February 26th businesses will not charge to distribute plastic bags.
This is a transition period for the eventual removal of the plastic bag fee option.
That will be starting on April 1, 2017.
We reached out to the City of Brownsville to ask what will change for consumers.
Public Information Officer for the city of Brownsville Roxanna Rosas says, “Business will no longer be able to charge for the use of plastic bags. That is the key change in the ordinance…
Q: After April First, if you go to a business, can you get a plastic bag?
“No,” says Rosas,” after April 1, the restriction goes into full effect with the exceptions that are listed in the ordinance.”
Those exemptions include some paper bags and plastic bags used for food safety that may be contaminated.
Here are the restrictions as listed in the ordinance.
Sec. 46-49. – Scope and applicability of plastic bag restriction.
(a) Business establishments are prohibited from providing plastic checkout bags as of January 5, 2011 but instead shall only provide reusable bags as checkout bags to their customers with or without charge, except as indicated in subsection (b), below.
(b) The following items are exempt from this chapter:
(1) Paper bags provided by convenience stores;
(2) Paper bags provided by restaurants for food carry-out purposes;
(3) Bags provided by pharmaceutical departments of businesses, or by veterinarians, for the purpose of containing medications or other prescriptions, or other medical necessities provided by said pharmacies or veterinarians;
(4) Paper bags provided for the containment of carry-out beverages;
(5) Paper bags commonly provided for liquor sales;
(6) Garment or laundry bags made from any material;
(7) Plastic bags provided to effect food safety for a purchaser of food by preventing contamination from any cooked, chilled or frozen food purchased; and
(8) Plastic bags that are covered by section 46-50.