Austin Bag Ban - Much Ado About Nothing
3 Months Later: Austin is Accepting of its Bag Ban
By Robert Piller
Austin, Texas: Anytime a city tries to enact a new policy, the other side shouts cries of Chicken Little– “The sky is falling” – or “This will cost hundreds of jobs and lose millions of dollars”, etc.
Sound familiar in your town?
Well, three months ago, the City of Austin implemented a bag ban and many of the retail business leaders went ballistic.
There were cries that people would stop shopping in Austin and drive 10-15 miles to the next town over to get their much cherished single-use plastic bags.
Well, in reality, people became very accepting of the law.
The Austin Statesman reports that from March 1 to May 15th, the city received a whopping total of 19 complaints about a total of ten retailers that were continuing to use single use bags.
Did the city vilify these retailers?
No, they went in and educated them a bit more to help them understand the new bag ban rules — and no fines or penalties have yet been issued.
Is your town considering a plastic bag ban?
Well, talk to the folks at Austin Resource Recovery, our city’s trash and recycling department and you will see that cries from opponents are nothing but a bunch of hot air.
Bag bans should not about fines and penalties–they are about getting everyone aboard.
People generally will become accepting of this new policy – and most other policies – if the reasons are explained and the city spends time and energy in educating the public about it.
Sure, some people will continue to moan and groan, but 100% acquiescence is never going to happen.
However, the true goal of acceptance of the new policy will happen.
Let’s hope for more city and state bans on single-use plastic bags.
Here’s to a greener tomorrow, today.