Dallas Will Decide on Plastic-Bag Ban in March. For Real This Time.

March. That's when the Dallas City Council will finally decide whether to ban single-use plastic (and paper) bags.

That was the takeaway from today's council briefing on the subject, the umpteenth since Councilman Dwaine Caraway launched his crusade last March.

For the first hour of the meeting, it looked as though the issue would stagnate as council members retread the same tired ground they've been covering for the past 10 months: Caraway said the bags are an eyesore and environmental nuisance that have to go; Sheffie Kadane countered that businesses and consumers should be allowed to determine the best course; Scott Griggs chimed in with things like "we have a system in place where our externalities are not internalized."

But then, Mayor Mike Rawlings took charge.

"We need to get something on paper, and we need to take action on it. We've talked about this enough," he said. The discussion, he added, has been fueled by each council member's philosophical beliefs, which none of them seems willing to change.

He turned to Caraway. "Work with legal try to find something creative," Rawlings said. "Whatever we find, put it on a piece of paper, put it in an ordinance, take it in [the council chambers], and vote it up or down."

So maybe it won't be a ban. Maybe it'll be a requirement that stores charge for bags. Maybe a mandate that groceries be carried in pockets. We'll see. Whatever the specifics, there will be a vote. After a brief consultation with City Attorney Warren Ernst, Caraway announced it will be in March.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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ScottsMerkin topcommenter

and if single use paper is banned, what am I gonna carry my 40 oz around in?


since the problem seems to exist primarily in Carraway's district how about creating a plan that incentivizes the pickup of the bags, ie for every pound of plastic bags picked up you get x. Banning solves nothing. you want to change folks behaviour. charge a nickel per bag, the money collected goes into a pool that is used to pay off the folks who pickup and recycle the bags.

holmantx topcommenter

I think bags caught in thermals are spiritually uplifting.

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

I dont consider them single use.  Once home I use them to pick up dog shit.


The bags are available on Amazon, in bulk.

Montemalone topcommenter

How 'bout we just shoot people that toss trash on the ground?

Multiple problems solved and the NRA will back it.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

I am so grateful that our City Council is able to effectively prioritize the urgent and critical matters that will impact our City if an action plan is not developed and implemented in order to effectively negate the adverse impacts of those issues.

Now then, I wonder when they will get to the streets, sanitation, police, fire, library and parks?


Charge for them, they are occasionally nice for bagging chicken or beef separately but reusable bags are better in every way so if you are too lazy to use a bag that is easier to load and unload and more comfortable to carry you should pay the price. 


@ruddskiFor much less than any stores charge, when they are forced to do so. 


No dice. Civil wrongs lawyers will gum up the works claiming disparate impact.

But i do commend you on your creative problem solving. I would back your plan if the perpetrators ended up composted.


I buy bulk and spread them around a Dallas. It's installation art.

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