March. That's when the Dallas City Council will finally decide whether to ban single-use plastic (and paper) bags.
That was the takeaway from today's council briefing on the subject, the umpteenth since Councilman Dwaine Caraway launched his crusade last March.
For the first hour of the meeting, it looked as though the issue would stagnate as council members retread the same tired ground they've been covering for the past 10 months: Caraway said the bags are an eyesore and environmental nuisance that have to go; Sheffie Kadane countered that businesses and consumers should be allowed to determine the best course; Scott Griggs chimed in with things like "we have a system in place where our externalities are not internalized."
But then, Mayor Mike Rawlings took charge.
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"We need to get something on paper, and we need to take action on it. We've talked about this enough," he said. The discussion, he added, has been fueled by each council member's philosophical beliefs, which none of them seems willing to change.
He turned to Caraway. "Work with legal try to find something creative," Rawlings said. "Whatever we find, put it on a piece of paper, put it in an ordinance, take it in [the council chambers], and vote it up or down."
So maybe it won't be a ban. Maybe it'll be a requirement that stores charge for bags. Maybe a mandate that groceries be carried in pockets. We'll see. Whatever the specifics, there will be a vote. After a brief consultation with City Attorney Warren Ernst, Caraway announced it will be in March.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.