SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TX - It's been almost a month since the Texas Supreme Court struck down a plastic bag ban in Laredo. This ruling made similar bag bans illegal. Currently two Rio Grande Valley cities currently have some sort of plastic bag regulation: Brownsville and South Padre Island.
The City of Brownsville says their ordinance is still in place, but they are not punishing business that are distributing plastic bags with a fine or a warning. They say that the future of the ordinance will be discussed in the next regular city commission meeting.
The city code also stands against plastic bags in South Padre Island. They too tell us that they will discuss plastic bag regulation in their next city council meeting.
“The ordinance is currently in place, but the agenda will be posted today,” says City Manager Susan Guthrie, “that meeting will be held next week to repeal the ordinance so that we're in compliance with state law.”
The Texas Supreme Court ruled against plastic bag ordinances on June 22, 2018. Shortly after, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sends out letters like to 11 cities with similar regulations including South Padre Island, Brownsville and Laguna Vista.
Laguna Vista repealed their ordinance in 2017.
“Yes we did receive a letter from the attorney general advising us that the ordinance that we have in place on a bag ban is not legal.” says Guthrie.
Retailers like HEB say that they will evaluate the ruling before making a change to current policy on twitter.
The City of South Padre Island has plans to reach out to local businesses. The city manager tells us they will continue to advocate for voluntary restrictions on plastic bags.
Find out more about Plastic Bag Ordinances in the RGV here
KVEO Facebook Poll: https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156488899019494&id=95622364493
Opinion of the Texas Supreme Court: http://www.txcourts.gov/media/1441865/160748.pdf
Texas Supreme Court Video: http://www.texasbarcle.com/CLE/SCPlayer.asp?sCaseNo=16-0748