SB 103 being debated as plastic bag litter endangers cattle

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Texas city laws that ban or charge fees for plastic bags may end as a Texas Senate committee discusses a plastic bag bill that bans those laws.

The city laws were meant to stop the littering of plastic bags which cattle ranchers said is dangerous.

Breeding bulls usually breed with cows during May or December but some of these cattle may have their lives cut short by a plastic bag.

Billy Easter, owner of Wichita Livestock Sales, said the cattle eat the plastic bags and they get sick.

"They get it in their intestines and stomach which causes impaction," Easter said.

Easter said he thinks it's happened before to one of his cows.

"It looked like she was impacted," Easter said. "My thoughts were she could've ate something that blew off the highway, like a plastic bag."

Austin, Brownsville and South Padre passed plastic bag laws either charging customers fees for using them or banning plastic bags altogether. Wichita Falls grocery shoppers were divided on the issue.

Carla Bolin says she understands why cities impose these laws.

"Well usually if anyone picks them up, it's going to be the city so yes I can see that," Bolin said.

Debbie Rowland said plastic bags aren't bad.

"They can be used for many other things around the house," Rowland said. "I use them over and over for lunch sacks and so forth."

Easter said he thinks if people were aware how much problems plastic bags cause then they wouldn't litter. There would be no need for these city laws as well.

California passed a law banning plastic bags last year. Brownsville removed their plastic bag law after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit.

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