Paxton asks Texas Supreme Court to declare all bag bans illegal


Attorney General Ken Paxton on Thursday filed paperwork urging the Texas Supreme Court to eliminate plastic bag bans across Texas, including Austin’s.

Paxton is seeking for the court to affirm an earlier decision that overturned a bag ban in Laredo. However, he also wants to court to expand the ruling to eliminate all bag bans across the state.

“Texas must be empowered to enforce its statewide solution of waste disposal,” the brief said. “To give full meaning to the Legislature’s directive about the management of waste, the Court should clarify that municipalities cannot pass waste management duties onto consumers by banning packaging or containers.”

RELATED: Texas lawmakers look to courts as they make new run at bag bans

About 10 cities in Texas have local ordinances regulating or banning single-use plastic shopping bags, according to the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative policy group. Such bans aim to curb litter and reduce other environmental issues, but many conservatives argue that such measures infringe on the liberties of consumers and businesses.

REPORT: Post bag-ban Austin uses 200 million fewer plastic bags a year

Last year, Paxton sued the city of Brownsville, which required a $1 environmental fee per transaction that included plastic bags.

Austin’s ordinance doesn’t impose a bag fee, but some retailers choose to charge customers for bags of a thicker plastic, designed to be reusable. The Texas Retailers Association sued Austin over the ban in 2013 but dropped the lawsuit before it went to court.

Paxton said the Texas Health and Safety Code prohibits cities from creating bag bans that restrict the sale or use of a waste container.

“Municipalities do not get to violate Texas law merely because they don’t like it,” Paxton said in a news release. “We’re asking the Texas Supreme Court to uphold the law so that the ruling can be used to invalidate similar ordinances across Texas.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Charlottesville victim’s mother won’t take Trump’s call
Charlottesville victim’s mother won’t take Trump’s call

The mother of the woman killed in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend said she does not want to hear from President Donald Trump because she believes he was “equating the protesters” like her daughter, Heather Meyer, to white supremacists,  CNN reported. "I'm not talking to the president now," Susan Bro said Friday on...
Large rattlesnake found beneath New Orleans home
Large rattlesnake found beneath New Orleans home

A wildlife removal expert captured a rattlesnake measuring nearly 6 feet long beneath a home in New Orleans, WVUE reported. Ryan Cook, who operates Gulf Coast Wildlife removal, said he was called after homeowners spotted the canebrake rattlesnake earlier this week. “This thing gets out from underneath the deck and it's pretty much the biggest...
Police name Barcelona attack suspect
Police name Barcelona attack suspect

Spanish authorities said they are looking for Younes Abouyaaqoub, a suspect in the deadly Barcelona terror attack who remains at large, a spokesman for the Catalan police told CNN on Saturday. The spokesman also revealed the names of three of the five suspected terrorists who were killed after a confrontation with police in Cambrils: Moussa Oukabir...
Police: Stabbings in Finland ‘a terrorist attack’
Police: Stabbings in Finland ‘a terrorist attack’

Police in Finland said they believe the killing of two people in the southwestern city of Turku on Friday was a terrorist attack, the BBC reported Saturday. The attacker, who was shot in the leg by police and taken into custody, was an 18-year-old Moroccan. The two people stabbed to death were both Finnish, police said. Eight people were...
Free speech rally planned Saturday in Boston
Free speech rally planned Saturday in Boston

A free speech rally planned for Boston Common since last month is set to take place Saturday. Two protests have also been planned to take place denouncing recent violence that took place at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Cameras and other security measures were in place at and around Boston Common. Street closures are expected to begin Saturday...
More Stories