San Francisco Banned Plastic Bags. But Dallas? Not Going to Happen.

So much for banning the single-use plastic bag in Dallas. Apparently, that's not the city council's job -- neither is taxing them, for that matter, which Seattle tried to do till the plastics industry gathered enough votes last month to call for a referendum. Nope, says council member Linda Koop: "We're in the business as a council and as a community about educating people about why they should conserve, why they should recycle, what's better for the environment." In other words: We're not San Francisco, people.

Koop echoes the sentiments of the American Chemistry Council (which merged with the American Plastics Council in '02), which, in April, insisted a ban on plastic bags and food containers would "have negative consequences on the local environment, the economy and the school system." Which leaves the council to repeat after the American Plastics Council's spokesman, quoted in 2004: "People need to stop littering." Which appears to be working! Or not. Though, from the sound of this he-said, he-said, for the city it came down to who do you believe: the temporary head of Dallas's Office of Environmental Quality or the veep of "an industry leading manufacturer of plastic bag and film products." Seems fitting that today is Thomas Dolby's birthday. --Robert Wilonsky


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