City of Laredo, Texas v. Laredo Merchants Ass’n (Opinion)Annotate this Case
At issue was whether the Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act (Act) preempts, and thus invalidates, a local antilitter ordinance prohibiting merchants from providing “single use” plastic and paper bags to customers for point-of-sale purchases.
The trial court upheld the ordinance, which makes it unlawful for any “commercial establishment” to provide or sell certain plastic or paper “checkout bags” to customers. Specifically, the court ruled that the ordinance was not void because reasonable constructions existed under which both the Act and the ordinance could be effective. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the ordinance was preempted by the Act. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the ordinance regulated solid waste containers within the Act’s meaning and that the ordinance was not “authorized by state law"; and (2) therefore, the Act preempted the ordinance.