Thursday, January 6, 2011

South Padre Island, TX Bans The Bag!!

 I have waited a very long time to post something like this. Very stoked....

Last night, January 5th, the South Padre Island City Council unanimously voted yes on a proposed plastic bag ban making South Padre Island the second city in Texas to pass such an ordinance!  The ordinance which prohibits the point of sale distribution of non-compostable plastic bags and allows for the use of reusable bags, recyclable paper bags that are not made from old growth trees and are composed of at least 40% post consumer recycled content and compostable plastic bags will go into effect as a voluntary ban on February 1, 2011 and would become mandatory on January 1, 2012.

The City Council Board Room was filled with individuals that supported the ban and many made comments including the Surfrider Foundation South Texas Chapter and Sea Turtle, Inc.  All City Councilpersons made comments that the feedback that they had received had been overwhelmingly positive.  However, some concerns were brought up.  The first and foremost was the impact on businesses and the expense of changing over from the old bags.  The Council resolved this by directing city staff to explore ways to aid these businesses in the conversion over the next year which included possibly having the city purchase a large amount of reusable bags with Hotel Occupancy Tax funds that would be branded with the SPI logo and then sold at little cost to interested businesses.  Another concern was a possible future suit against the city by the American Chemistry Council on the ban.  Councilman Sam Listi was heard saying, "Bring it on!" at the raising of this concern!

I would like to personally thank Councilwoman Alita Bagley, Environmental Health Director Victor Baldovinos for all of their hard work in getting this ordinance to the city council and especially thank everyone who spoke and emailed the council in favor of the ban!