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Dallas passes partial plastic bag ban

List Dallas under the latest city to pass a plastic bag tax. By a vote of 8-6 the Dallas City Council passed the "environmental fee ordinance," which bans single-use carryout bags at all city facilities and events while still allowing retailers to use plastic and paper bags, according to the Dallas Morning News. 

Beginning January 1, 2015, retailers will be required to charge five cents per bag. In addition, the ordinance requires those retailers handing out plastic bags to register with the city and keep track of the bags sold.

Money raised from the bag fees will go toward funding enforcement and education efforts. It could cost the city $250,000 this year to educate the public and the city's 20,000 retailers. 

The American Progressive Bag Alliance called this vote "a move that will fail to accomplish any environmental goals while jeopardizing 4,500 Texas jobs and hurting consumers."

Here's what the Dallas Morning News reported after the vote was passed:

Wednesday's vote came a year after council member Dwaine Caraway asked the city attorney to draft an ordinance that completely banned the bag. The council member says the ordinance passed today was a compromise born out of "a fair process" that included environmentalists, bag manufactures and retailers. Several of his colleagues wanted to send the proposed ordinances back to committee for further debate. But Caraway wanted a vote now. 

Some of his colleagues disagreed and one expressed concern that the "fee-based ban will result in a lawsuit from retailers and manufacturers." 

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is reportedly looking into the legality of the ban. 

Council member Scott Griggs called the ban just "one step."

"We tackle the bags then we can move on to Styrofoam and other issues that cause trash. This is a large elephant we'll have to take on as a city and a council," the Dallas Morning News reported. 

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