Dallas is the latest U.S. city to push back against plastic bag taxes and bans with a 10-4 vote on Wednesday to repeal the city's 5-cent bag fee.
The City Council also rejected an attempt to ban plastic bags outright, voting against Councilman Dwaine Caraway's proposal to ban plastic bags 9-6.
Starting Monday, June 8, all bags will once again be available and paper bags will be free at Dallas retailers.
The ordinance taxing plastic and paper bags became a hotter-than-usual issue May 1, when a group of bag manufacturers and recyclers filed suit against the city. The lawsuit, brought by Hilex Poly Co. LLC, Superbag Corp., Inteplast Group and Advanced Polybag Inc., alleges that the 5-cent-per-bag tax passed by the City Council in March 2014 violates the Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act.
When the Dallas ban was passed, then-State Attorney General Greg Abbott was already looking into whether bag bans or taxes were legal in the state. He eventually concluded that such ordinances were a violation of state law. No other action has been taken on the nine other existing bans or fees in the state. Abbott has since been elected governor of Texas.
While bag bans and fees have not been as popular in Texas as in some other states, the backlash against them is growing everywhere. In April, the Huntington Beach, Calif., city council voted 6-1 to repeal its 2-year-old ban on plastic and 10-cent fee on paper bags.
And while California voters will decide on a bag ban for the entire state next November, other states are doing exactly the opposite. In April, Arizona Gov. Douglas Ducey (R) signed a law prohibiting local bans, taxes or fees on plastic bags and other containers.