BROWNSVILLE, Texas (February 22, 2017) – At a Regular Meeting on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, the Brownsville City Commission voted to approve the SECOND and FINAL READING on Ordinance Number 2017-911-G, repealing Sections 46-48 and 46-52, and amending the remainder of Chapter 46, Article II of the City of Brownsville Code of Ordinances.
The approval of the SECOND and FINAL READING provides that the provisionary surcharge for plastic bags be eliminated and that Ordinance Number 2017-911-G shall take effect five days after its adoption by the Brownsville City Commission.
In addition, according to Sec. 46-49 (a) of Ordinance Number 2017-911-G, “Business establishments are prohibited from providing plastic checkout bags as of April 1, 2017, but instead shall only provide reusable bags as checkout bags to their customers with or without charge…”
The approval of the SECOND and FINAL READING follows the Brownsville City Commission’s vote on January 12, 2017, to resolve the lawsuit over Ordinance Number 2010-911-F, filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton against the City of Brownsville on October 12, 2016.
Under the Texas Attorney General’s settlement proposal, the City of Brownsville will voluntarily eliminate the fee associated with the ordinance, and the lawsuit against the City of Brownsville will be dismissed with prejudice as to refiling.
Ordinance Number 2010-911-F became effective on January 5, 2011, and has been extraordinarily successful in reducing the use of plastic bags throughout the community, thus diminishing the hazardous environmental impacts their misuse has caused. Since the ordinance became effective, it has eliminated plastic bags from the waste stream and has reduced the amount of litter on city streets, sidewalks, drainage systems and resaca waterways.
Environmental fees remitted to the City of Brownsville through the ordinance totaled approximately $4.7 million since 2011, and were used towards environmental programs and recycling and clean-up initiatives, including: street sweepers; recycling machinery and equipment; and beautification projects.
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