Brownsville, Texas has become the first city in the state of Texas to successfully pass a plastic bag ban ordinance. I will be the first to admit that I was blown away when I heard that they had actually pulled this off. It took them two years of hard work to do so and I would like to congratulate the City for their efforts!
The ordinance (below) sets up a one year voluntary compliance with a mandatory compliance to go into effect in 2011. It allows for the use of reusable cloth bags, approved biodegradable plastic bags and recyclable paper bags to be used in the place of the traditional plastic bags that we have become accustomed to. It also sets up an advisory committee to oversee the implementation and enforcement of the new ordinance.
After talking with local Lower Laguna Madre area officials in the City of South Padre Island and Port Isabel, it seems that they are very interested in moving forward on a similar law in order to protect our Laguna Madre, Gulf of Mexico and their beaches from the dangers and negative effects of what has been popularly called Texas' new tumbleweeds.