Grocery bags will cost 5 cents starting Jan. 1

plastic bags

The city’s carryout bag ordinance takes effect Jan. 1. City Council last spring had proposed banning flimsy plastic bags outright, but they eventually compromised with a 5-cent fee per plastic or paper bag.

The idea is that the fee will result in fewer bags being used and less litter, fewer urban tumbleweeds. The city already spends about $4 million a year cleaning up litter, and the retail fees will go into an “environmental fund,” where it could be used for litter abatement.

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“It’s basically a tax the customer is paying,” says Gary Huddleston, a spokesman for Kroger, a vocal opponent the ordinance. “If they bring a reusable bag, there’s no fee or tax.”

Huddleston says Kroger already trains its employees to use the fewest number of bags possible.

There is some question whether this ordinance will stand. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot has indicated the ordinance is not legal under state law. So a lawsuit over the ordinance seems likely.

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  • Lolotehe

    SO MUCH FOR THAT.

  • Rachel Stone

    The tax is for paper and plastic, though

  • Lolotehe

    I’ve been asking a lot of cashiers what they’re going to do and they shrug and say they don’t know, so I’d say they AREN’T being trained anything. I’m also wondering if stores that give $.05 credit for those who bring in their own bags will still be dong this. Maybe they’ll all just switch back to paper bags?

  • OCTina

    I’m all for this! Anyone who lives on a creek knows how awful it looks with plastic bags stuck in all the branches. I hope Gov. Abbott can find something better to do than sue us over trying to clean up the city.

  • Barbara Macleod

    I shout HOORAY! The volunteers at Keep Oak Cliff Beautiful can attest to trouble these pesky bags bring to fences, bushes, trees and in the roots along waterways. And all it takes to impact this situation is to carry a few reusable bags in the trunk of your car.

  • downtownworker

    I hate the idea of the bag tax, but employees are not at all trained to use the fewest amount of bags. I swear they will double-bag a pack of chewing gum and it drives me crazy how wasteful that is.