Ken Paxton

AG Paxton Asks SCOTX to Strike Down Illegal Bag Bans in Laredo and Across Texas

Thursday, January 11, 2018 – Austin

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today asked the Texas Supreme Court to uphold last year’s ruling by the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals that the city of Laredo’s ban on single-use plastic bags is illegal because it violates state law regulating solid waste disposal. During arguments, his office showed why the court should apply the ruling across Texas.

“Laredo and Austin, among others, flout the law when they unlawfully pass the burden of solid waste management to residents and retailers through illegal bag bans,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Municipalities do not get to violate Texas law just because they feel like it. This case gives the Texas Supreme Court the opportunity to uphold the law so that the ruling can be used to invalidate illegal bag bans statewide.”

The Texas Health and Safety Code forbids municipalities from making rules to “prohibit or restrict, for solid waste management purposes, the sale or use of a container or package in a manner not authorized by state law.” In June 2017, Attorney General Paxton asked the state Supreme Court to affirm the appeals court’s ruling against unlawful bag bans.

Last year, the city of Kermit repealed its unlawful sales tax on single-use plastic bags rather than face a lawsuit from the attorney general’s office. And Attorney General Paxton dismissed a lawsuit against the city of Brownsville after it formally repealed its illegal sales tax on plastic bags.