02 March 2012 17:52 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS)--The city council of ?xml:namespace>
The bag ban, approved with a unanimous council vote, will go into effect on 1 March 2013 and includes $2m (€1.5m) in public education funds to make city retailers and residents aware of the prohibition.
Austin, the 14th largest
Although the council bill does not specifically provide a criminal penalty for retailers who distribute single-use plastic bags after 1 March 2013, a senior official at the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) contends that the newly approved law includes misdemeanour criminal fines by default.
Marc Levin, director of the foundation’s Center for Effective Justice, said that underlying
Levin said that the
He said he was not aware of any other municipal bag ban in the US that provides criminal penalties.
A misdemeanour violation usually involves lesser criminal offenses with fines and jail sentences of up to one year.
In addition, Levin contends that because the
Levin said the bag ban “is yet another example of the problem of over-criminalisation, the growing number of criminal laws that apply to ordinary activities that are not morally wrong and do not directly harm others”.
He said that inclusion of criminal penalties in the measure was not inadvertent or unintended because his organisation had made council members well aware of the underlying city code requirements and consequences for the bag ban.
($1 = €0.75)
Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy
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