Dallas trashes 5 cent disposable bag fee

Disposable shopping bags will soon be free again in the city of Dallas.

The city council voted 10 to 4 Wednesday to get rid of the 5 cent charge for thin plastic bags.

Since January, shoppers without their own reusable bags have been paying up. Dallas has gained about $500,000 in bag fees.

Councilman Dwaine Caraway led the move to eliminate what he considers an environmental eyesore.

But some council members didn't like it, arguing it hurt businesses and was too. They asked for it to be scrapped because the city is now facing a lawsuit from a group of plastic bag manufacturers.

Councilman Jerry Allen called it a "nickel nuisance tax" and Councilwoman Jennifer Gates argued banning plastic bags is not the solution because many residents do re-use the bags.

"We shouldn't play the nanny state card. Don't put it on businesses if we can't look after ourselves," added Councilman Rick Callahan.

Caraway proposed going even further and eliminating disposable bags completely.

He had support from some members of the public. One man dressed up as the Plastic Bag Monster warned that he would roam freely if the city loosened restrictions.

But Caraway's motion failed and council members instead voted to repeal the bag fee.

The change will go into effect next Monday.


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