The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Brownsville bans plastic bag use

As a child, the TV show Sesame Street taught me the dangers of littering by displaying pictures of turtles and ducks with plastic soda rings caught around their necks.

The effect has lasted — I always snip plastic soda rings before throwing them out.

The more frequent threat to our wildlife friends, however, seems to be the plastic bag. Too often, we see a posse of plastic bags strewn along the edge of highways. Or the lonely one drooping on a tree limb or fence. Or a wad of them drifting down streams and waterways.

Cities have made plastic-bag progress. Many grocery stores in the area now offer places to recycle these pesky pieces of plastic. Others even offer a small credit to customers who bring in their own reusable bags in an effort to reduce the amount of plastic rubbish.

While in Holland last summer, I visited a local grocery store and paid a fee for each bag I used.

The solution seems straightforward — reduce the number of plastic bags used by consumers to reduce the environmental hazards caused by plastic bags.

A South Texas town set the example after it brought in the new year by tossing out plastic bags.

On Jan. 5, Brownsville became the first city in the state and the 12th city in the U.S. to ban single-use plastic bags, according to The Brownsville Herald. The movement was spurred by issues with clogs in the city’s drainage systems because of litter and the perpetual sight of abandoned plastic bags.

Shoppers there must now bring their own reusable bags or pay $1 to the retailer to use plastic grocery bags. The revenue from the surcharge is put toward environmental programs designed by the city to promote recycling and clean-up initiatives.

I am proud of Brownsville for its bold shift toward a greener environment, a cleaner city and happier wildlife.

And for reminding us that you don’t mess with Texas.

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