Single-use checkout bags have harmful impacts on our environment and drain our tax dollars. San Antonio residents use more than 1.6 billion plastic bags every year. At least 80% of these end up in landfills or as litter.

While stores don't charge for the bags, city taxpayers pay for a variety of pollution impacts. They cause damage to recycling facilities, and despite the fact that they are about 1% of the waste stream, they cost recyclers as much as 30% of their labor time. They clog up storm drains and wastewater treatment plants. They cost San Antonio residents as much as $1.3 million a year to control their pollution, and they disproportionately affect low income communities who have fewer resources for litter control, less recycling and more fragile infrastructure. That $1.3 million could help low income San Antonio neighborhoods, but instead is being wasted on plastic bag pollution! Even more money is being spent on state and federal clean-up efforts, and it is impossible to put a dollar value on the impacts to wildlife killed by plastic bags.

Personalized Emails are far more meaningful to your elected officials than form letters. Be sure to include a personal message about why the issue is important to you, and why you think passing a local ordinance will be the appropriate solution. To speed up the campaign:

  • Send a second email to the City Councilmember in your district encouraging him or her to carry the ordinance through the voting process.
  • Call or ask to have a meeting with City Councilmembers to show your support.
  • Learn more about the issue and spread the word!
  • Share this link with your community via email and social media.


Suggested Points to Include:

  • Voluntary efforts have failed to solve the problem of plastic bag pollution
  • I support removing single-use bags from San Antonio stores, and saving taxpayers and businesses the expenses caused by this pollution.
  •  Please pass a bag ordinance and stop wasting as much as $1,300,000 a year on clean-up efforts.
  • Plastic bag pollution threatens our infrastructure, costs small businesses money and makes our city less attractive to visitors. Our economy will benefit from a bag ban.
  • Brownsville, Fort Stockton, South Padre Island, Laguna Vista, Sunset Valley, Laredo, Kermit, and Austin, Texas have all passed bag ordinances.  Now is the time for San Antonio to join their leadership.
  • Please respond to my comments in writing, or via email at:

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