Plastic Bag Bans Illegal, Texas Attorney General Says

AUSTIN (August 29, 2014) In a five-page opinion issued Friday, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says municipal bans on single-use plastic shopping bags are illegal.

Abbott says a state law bars local governments from prohibiting, restricting or charging a fee, for solid waste management purposes, for "the use of a container or package in a manner not authorized by state law."

Abbott acknowledges that the law does not define a single-use plastic bag as a "container or package," but contends the bags fit the dictionary definitions of a container or package.

State Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Dallas, sought the opinion after nine cities enacted ordinances banning the single-use bags.

The opinion is non-binding but reflects the attorney general's view of who would win a lawsuit on the issue.