2016 Waste360 40 Under 40
Texas Court Strikes Down Bag Ban in Laredo

Texas Court Strikes Down Bag Ban in Laredo

Texas’ Fourth Court of Appeals sided with merchants and free-market groups in opposing a bag ban in Laredo.

There’s been an ongoing debate about plastic bag bans nationally in recent years. In many cases, cities have passed legislation to ban bags. In other cases, the bans have come at the state level. And then there is Arizona, where the state has gone in the other direction and moved to ban bag bans.

In the latest struggle, Texas’ Fourth Court of Appeals sided with merchants and free-market groups who argued that the town of Laredo’s ban on single-use bags is illegal because it is pre-empted by state law regulating solid waste disposal.

The Texas Tribune has more:

Laredo, which estimates it once went through some 120 million plastic bags each year, is among several Texas cities — including Austin, Fort Stockton and Port Aransas — that have sought to regulate them to reduce waste.

The city argued that its ban was designed to beautify the city and reduce clogs in storm drains, not to manage solid waste as barred by the state law.

The lawsuit, filed by the Laredo Merchants Association, was the first challenge to such a ban to be heard in court. And it triggered briefs from 20 Texas lawmakers, a prominent free-market group and the Texas Municipal League — who squabbled over cities’ power to regulate commerce.

Read the full story here.

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