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Odessa City Council Proposes Ban On Plastic Bags

Mayor David Turner hopes this is the first step in cleaning up Odessa and Ector County
ODESSA -- It's unsightly, and in the Permian Basin, it's everywhere.

Plastic bags and other assorted trash litter the landscape of Midland and Odessa.


Odessa Mayor David Turner says he hears from visitors that it's one of the first things they notice coming into the city.


"A lot of people say when they drive down Interstate 20, they see alot of plastic bags and we need to change that. That's something that we as city council need to take the lead and change it," Turner said.


To that end, Turner and the Odessa City Council are proposing a plan to dramatically reduce plastic bags throughout the city.


Tuesday night, they held a public hearing to see what citizens thought about the idea and almost 85% of the speakers were in favor of the idea.


"I think it would be a good first step toward making the community of odessa a cleaner place," Gino Solla, Director of the Ector County Health Department, told us.


Solla says most of the trash he sees is in the form of plastic bags and other non bio-degradable containers strewn about the highway.


He wasn't the only one.


Several people voiced concern with the current condition of our area, promoting the idea of using  the re-usable totes that are becoming more and more popular at grocery stores.


One man told us, though, that the problem isn't with the bags, it's with people.


"It's individual pride. If a person has pride in their city and where they live, they won't want to trash it," Ramon Armendariz said.


Whatever the problem, Turner hopes to have this on the next agenda and says this is only the beginning.


"This is a good first step. We have many steps ahead, but I feel good about this first step," Turner finished.


If the council can get the item on the next city council agenda, they could have a first reading of the proposal in two weeks.


City Manager Richard Morton is going to go to local businesses to get their input as well.

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