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Brownsville, TX Residents Oppose Plastic Bag Ban Nearly 2 To 1

Allyson Wilson (703) 741-5171
August 26, 2010

Survey Shows Little Support for Bag Ban

Arlington, VA (August 26, 2010) – A new survey of residents in Brownsville, TX shows that nearly two to one oppose the City Commission’s plan to ban plastic bags at retail stores beginning in January. 

Slightly more than half (51%) of the respondents in the survey would like to see the ban repealed or postponed, while only 28 percent support the ban.  The remaining survey respondents were undecided.

The survey was conducted August 19-21 among 300 Brownsville adults and has a 5.6 percent margin of error.

The survey found that most residents (82%) are aware of the ban and that three quarters (74%) use plastic bags as their primary means of carrying food home from grocery stores.  Nearly nine in ten (88%) reuse plastic bags at home for trash can liners, cleaning up after pets and other duties.

More than eight in ten (83%) are aware that they can recycle plastic bags at major retail and grocery stores, such as Walmart and HEB.

“This survey demonstrates that the City Commission is out of step with Brownsville voters,” said Rudy Underwood of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the organization that sponsored the survey.  “The citizens of Brownsville clearly oppose banning this valued product that most people rely on and then reuse in their homes.”

Underwood also pointed out that although the Texas plastic bag manufacturing industry supports 2,600 well-paying local Texas jobs, most reusable bags are imported.

Local retailers, businesses and supporters of plastic bag recycling have asked the City Commission to reconsider the impending ban.  Opponents of the ban hope the Commission will choose a more effective solution for reducing overall waste, such as policies to increase plastic bag recycling in Brownsville.

The ban threatens to eliminate recycling opportunities not only for plastic bags but for all of the other plastic wraps that can be recycled with bags at major retailers and grocers.  Brownsville residents can return their plastic shopping bags and many types of product wraps – dry cleaning bags, newspaper bags and wraps from bread, diapers and cases of soda – to be recycled along with the bags.  Jurisdictions across the country from King County (WA) to Phoenix (AZ) and from Chicago (IL) to New York City (NY) and Philadelphia (PA) have adopted bag recycling as the best approach to reducing waste and litter.  

The survey was conducted by American Directions Group, a polling company founded in 1972 with services across the country.

For more information on plastic bags and related public policy, including efforts to recycle them, please visit: http://www.plasticbagfacts.org/.

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