AUSTIN - The results of a Texas Supreme Court case could bring an end to plastic bag bans in Texas.
Thursday, the court heard testimony on a case out of Laredo, which has a similar bag ban as Austin.
The lawsuit alleges the ban is illegal, saying a local government cannot make restrictions for solid waste purposes.
In June 2017, Attorney General Ken Paxton asked the Supreme Court to eliminate the plastic bag ban across the state. Paxton cited a state law saying "cities can't restrict using containers or packages for solid waste purposes."
The outcome of the Supreme Court case would affect bag bans all across Texas.
"I have so many reusable bags at home,” said shopper Mindy Honcoop.
The bag ban went into effect back in 2013 in Austin.
Ever since then, stores have only offered cloth, paper or thick re-usable plastic bags.
"Currently we use a paper bag that we offer to our customers free of charge,” said David Ortiz, the store manager at Fresh Plus.
But with the Texas Supreme Court looking at the bag ban it's possible the single use plastic bag could come back.
"Why do we need plastic?” said Honcoop.
Even if the ban was lifted, Honcoop said she would still bring her own, or use paper saying it's become a routine.
"Once you are like rid of plastic bags, you just become used to not having them anymore, and so I was surprised that you would even bring them back,” said Honcoop. "I wouldn't use a plastic just because you can't recycle the plastic bags anyways."
"For us, I think a lot of our customers have already known to bring their own bags but they do know that we do offer the paper bags to them, and I don't see a lot changing for us,” said Ortiz.
Allen Schroeder said he likes the bag ban.
"I've noticed the amount of reduced plastic flying around on the streets,” said Schroeder. "That in itself makes Austin a little nicer."
And he said he wouldn't go back.
"I would really avoid them,” said Schroeder.
"They just end up in landfills, and choking animals,” said Honcoop.
"Plastics in general are not good for the environment, I know that all the plastic then would be going back into the landfill,” said Schroeder.
So to keep them out of the landfill, these shoppers hope it starts with keeping them out of the stores.
At Fresh Plus, they don't know yet if they would switch back to offering plastic if the ban went away.
We reached out to several other major stores in our area.
Target sent KVUE a statement:
“Target encourages guests and communities to reduce their plastic bag use and we comply with all local government regulations. With Austin's plastic bag ban still in place, we don't have any changes to our store bag practices to share at this time.”
Austin is one of about 10 cities in Texas with a ban on single-use plastic bags.
The Texas Retailers Association sued Austin over the bag ban in 2013 but later dropped the lawsuit.
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