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At Capitol, bill targeting plastic bag bans draws strong opposition

March 27, 2017

The Texas Tribune

Sanya Mansoor

March 14, 2017-

South Texas rancher Gilbert Saenz remembers the first time he caught one of his sheep nibbling on a plastic grocery bag. It was a few years back. “I thought it was eating some flowers and then I got up closer and saw a plastic bag in his mouth and I had to basically come after it and get it out of its mouth,” he said on Tuesday, adding that “Sheep are hard to catch.” Saenz was testifying before the Texas Senate’s Business and Commerce Committee on legislation aimed at cracking down on the growing number of plastic bag bans around the state. He joined other ranchers and a host of city officials in opposing Senate Bill 103, authored by Sen. Bob Hall.

Under the legislation, cities would no longer be able to ban grocery stores and other businesses from providing single use plastic bags or charge a fee for them. The legislation would nullify at least 10 existing local ordinances restricting plastic bag use, including in Austin, Brownsville and South Padre.

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