The decline in plastic bags is seen as promising proof that policies limiting the bags’ usage are helping reduce plastic pollution. However, due to an increase in other sorts of plastic waste, the amount of trash remained constant throughout the years, the Independent reported.
The plastic bag ban in Austin, Texas initially resulted in 200 million fewer bags a year, the American-Statesman reported in 2015. Despite the ban's impact, it has remained controversial and was most recently contested by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in June 2017, when he urged the Texas Supreme Court to do away with bag bans across the state. The case was argued earlier this year, but the court has not issued a ruling yet.