Group: Efforts to reduce plastic bag use failed

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by JADE MINGUS / KVUE News

Bio | Email | Follow: @JadeM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on May 11, 2010 at 4:29 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 12 at 9:01 AM

The debate over plastic bags is once again brewing at Austin City Hall.

The Austin Zero Waste Alliance held a news conference behind piles of plastic bags Tuesday morning at City Hall.

Activists wore plastic bags and chanted “Hey, hey, ho ho. Plastic bags have got to go,” as they gave city council members letters from Austin residents who support a ban.

The group says the city’s goal of reducing plastic bag use and sending fewer bags to the trash by June 2009 failed. The goal was to reduce plastic bags going into the trash by 50 percent.

The Austin Zero Waste Alliance said the city fell short by 13 percent. Now the group is calling on the city council for a complete ban.

"Plastic bags might not cost stores much to buy, but they are costing us taxpayers because they create litter that has to be picked up, they clog our storm drains and sewer systems," said Robin Schneider, Austin Zero Waste Alliance.

Austin stores, including Whole Foods and Natural Grocers, have voluntarily stopped using plastic bags.

"I think in the long run it will be worthwhile, but it’s definitely going to be hard to change," said Sarah Racanelli, Austin shopper.

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