While it seems like the plastic carryout bag has become synonymous with our Western “convenience” culture, I believe its days are numbered. The practice of carrying out groceries, food, and clothing purchases in plastic bags has become so second-nature for people that most people don’t even think about it or can’t even think about alternatives to plastic bags. Well, residents in Austin better become acquainted with the alternatives to single-use carryout plastic bags because the Austin Bag Ban has begun.
The single-use carryout plastic bag is certainly convenient but its use since the 1960s has definitely taken its toll on the environment. There is so much evidence out there about the affect of these single-use carryout bags on wildlife and sea life that its ban in communities across the world is certainly a welcome step to saving wildlife and sea life from premature death by ingestion of these bags or bag particles.
Before we get to some plastic bag infographics and the plastic bag’s connection to water, first some specifics of the City of Austin bag ban…
Overview: Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance
On March 2, 2012, the Austin City Council unanimously approved the Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance, which took effect March 1, 2013. The ordinance regulates the types of bags that can be distributed by businesses in Austin and promotes a change to reusable bags. However, it does not completely eliminate all plastic or paper carryout bags.
Affected business establishments may not provide single-use carryout plastic bags to its customers or any person and shall display signage to educate their customers about their bag options. Now businesses are required to provide reusable bags at checkout, but the ordinance does not require businesses to charge a fee for reusable bags.
Read more →