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Plastic Bag Ban Will Not Be A Reality In Odessa This Time Around

Odessa City Council votes the plastic bag ban down 3 to 2
ODESSA -- A proposed plastic bag ban in Odessa saw its first public hearing in May and the council tabled the item during its last reading, before ultimately making their decision Tuesday night: Voting down the proposed plastic bag ban.

Litter plagues the landscape around the Permian Basin with plastic bags lining the highways.


That's one reason the Odessa City Council has been considering a plastic bag ban.


It was an idea that, for some would have been the right way to solve the problem. 


"I do a lot of bicycle riding up and down the streets and alleys, and they're hanging off every plant, Mesquite and picket fence in town," Odessa resident Ronald Parks said.


While the issue was considered in multiple city council meetings, the council ultimately  decided Tuesday night that it didn't warrant a ban voting it down 3 to 2.


That decision didn't thrill some in attendance.


"I'm sure they travel around some, they must have dark glasses on," Parks continued.


For business owner Sharon Beard, a plastic bag ban is not the answer.


Instead she says it would have caused more problems for her.


"As a business owner, from my perspective as a specialty small shop, it would be very costly to me and my customers and I would have to raise my prices," Beard said.


Still, Beard is not blind to the problem around town.


"It is a shame that people do litter and I do wish that people would be more considerate and look around town and see how dirty that looks," Beard continued.


She feels like the responsibility falls to the citizens to dispose of the bags properly.


So why did the council dismiss the ban?


For city council member Sandra Carrasco, it came down to the details of the proposal.


"I think that we just have to take it back to the table and do some tweaking because I do believe that the trash bag is a big problem and it's become an eyesore," Carrasco said.


Carrasco says if the proposal were amended she would be willing to support the ban in the future.


Since the possible ban was voted down, this particular proposal is done.


That's not to say that a similar proposal won't be brought up in the future, but for now, plastic bags are still safe in Odessa.

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