Rick Cofer has been active in a variety of philanthropic causes across Austin and the greater Texas community for decades. Many of these have focused on the likes of the likes of helping disadvantaged youth because of his experience as a criminal defense attorney for minors. However, Mr. Cofer has also been noted to help with a variety of other charitable and environmental causes. One of the most recent of these has been helping to push the single-use plastic bag ban.
However, in the summer of 2018, this ban was quashed by the Texas Supreme Court in a decision that many across Texas disagreed with. The majority of the people in Austin also disagreed with the decision and Rick Cofer was one of those. Having said that, many decided to continue the policy regardless. Mr. Cofer has commented on the matter saying that he believes large retailers will continue to not give single-use plastic bags away for free. He was also one of the chief drivers of the ban in the first place; he was on the Solid Waste Advisory Commission during the bans development.
This is because Rick Cofer has always been involved in a variety of environmental efforts in the area; he’s also helped develop a few parks and recreation areas around Austin. This is because he has long been on the boards for the Austin Parks and Recreation and the Pease Park Conservancy. Throughout this time, Mr. Cofer has always been a significant part of the cities environmental initiatives; it was also the main reason he was behind the bag ban in the first place. When the bag ban was in effect, companies in Texas had to attach a small fee to each of the plastic bags they give customers.
Over six months, they made approximately $500,000 because of the fee to buy a reusable plastic bag. According to Rick Cofer, this should be a benefit for companies as it will increase their bottom line in Austin and any other area where they voluntarily charge for a reusable plastic bag. This will help fuel future growth and expansion in the area. Mr. Cofer also pointed out that many businesses in Austin could consider selling cloth reusable bags to their customers instead of the plastic reusable bags that are currently on offer.
This is because plastic reusable bags end up in the bin a lot more often than cloth ones, according to Rick Cofer. Because of that, the likes of cloth bags can have more of an environmentally friendly impact while also having a positive impact on the businesses bottom lines. Because of that, Mr. Cofer is confident that many companies will make the change despite the ban being dropped in the Texas Supreme Court.