Legislation allowing Texas cities more local control over plastic bag bans and other quality of life issues was left pending in a House committee Tuesday.
Supporters of House Bill 3482 include Houston fifth grader Caolilin Krathaus who co-founded the group "Bag-Free Bayous."
“The plastic bags wave like dirty flags in the trees, it looks awful,” Krathaus told reporters before Tuesday's committee hearing. “Instead of being a place that attracts people on walks, birders and families, its full of trash and gives our bayous a bad reputation.”
State leaders have pushed back against ten Texas cities which passed their own bag bans in recent months.
“Every city in Texas has its reason for a bag ban and they're not all the same, and this is why local governments should be able to make the decision,” said Lila Mankad, a classmate of Krathaus and co-founder of “Bag-Free Bayous.”
“Sadly, the problem with plastic bags isn't just that they look trashy,” she argued. “In Houston, they kill wildlife, block our water ways and make our flooding problems even worse.”
Laredo is currently appealing a court's decision rejecting its plastic bag ban, arguing plastic bags are a threat to cattle.
“Cotton farmers suffer because the cotton when mixed with plastic bags doesn't take the dye, and so the value of the cotton goes down,” said Robin Schneider at Texas Campaign for the Environment.
“For places that are dependent on tourism such as South Padre Island or Galveston, the bags trash their cities, they affect the marine life and make it a less attractive tourist destination.”