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Plastic Bag Ban in Abilene?

Waving in the wind like tumbleweeds, littered plastic bags are a common sight around the Key City.
Waving in the wind like tumbleweeds, littered plastic bags are a common sight around the Key City.

"It's that West Texas wind. They just catch the wind and get stuck in trees, branches, storm drains," said Ray Grothaus, President of Keep Abilene Beautiful on Monday.

With Austin becoming the first major city in the Lone Star State to outright ban the bags, it prompts the obvious question -- could it happen here?

"Never say never," Grothaus said.

"But it'll have to come from the citizens saying they don't want them anymore," said Bob Ervin, the manager at Abilene Recycling Center.

Soon, the Abilene Recycling Center is enacting its own ban -- plastic bags will no longer be accepted at the facility.

"In the next week or so, we'll be accepting only numbers one and two plastics -- that's soda bottles, water bottles,  milk cartons, that sort of thing," Ervin said.

That's because the place the recycling center took the bags to has recently lost its buyer.

"Most of the plastics went to China and China doesn't want them anymore," Ervin explained.

And with no buyer, there's no point in recycling them anymore, which means they will all wind up in the landfills.

"Plastic bags have come a long way from when they first rolled out to solving everyone's problems to now becoming a nuisance," Grothaus said.

Nuisance or not, Grothaus said it should all come down to the consumers.

"I don't think the city council or government needs to regulate that in Abilene," he said. "But they can, they have that option."

For now, whether the city or the community ever decides to take that step remains to be seen.

"Texans don't like being told what to do, especially West Texans," Ervin joked.
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