Austin Considers Banning Disposable Bags In 2014

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Austin officials are still shuffling effective dates as they work on a proposed ban on disposable paper and plastic bags at the capital city's checkout counters.

The Austin American-Statesman reports city solid waste director Bob Gedert is considering charging a fee of $1 per transaction, starting March 2013, with a ban following the following March. Gedert says he plans to add a few exemptions, such as bags for prescription drugs and restaurant carryout bags.

Gedert says he expects to have a final draft ready by the end of the month for the City Council to vote on in March.

Under the proposed ban, retailers could still offer reusable bags made of more durable materials and thicker paper and plastic bags with some recycled material.