Austin/ Weather & Environment
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Published on February 21, 2024
San Marcos Joins Texas Cities in Implementing "Can Ban" to Protect Rivers from PollutionSource: City of San Marcos TX

In a decisive move to cut down on pollution, San Marcos has joined nearby Texas cities in outlawing single-use containers on their rivers. The San Marcos City Council finalized the "can ban" on Tuesday, mandating new rules that kick off on May 1. Under this ordinance, river-goers are permitted to carry only one 30-quart cooler each while within city limits, a measure targeted at preserving the river's environmental integrity, KXAN reports.

The regulation, already mirrored by fellow Texan municipalities New Braunfels, and Martindale, doesn't place any restrictions within riverfront parks. However, containers constructed from an assortment of materials – including metal, aluminum, cardboard, Styrofoam, plastic, or glass – are now prohibited. According to KVUE, "go zones" have been established where single-use containers are still acceptable, whereas "no zones" will be clearly indicated to help locals and tourists navigate the new rules.

San Marcos City Council member Mark Gleason anticipates that these changes might require some adjustment, expressing optimism for the community's adaptation, "There's probably going to be some changes and it's going to be in flux a little bit, but I am hoping everyone embraces it and I hope this does a lot of good for the river," Gleason told KVUE.

Further detailing the scope of the ban, the ordinance also includes size restrictions on coolers used within the river, as well as designated park areas adjacent to the river. Moreover, alcoholic beverages in quantities of 5 fluid ounces or less are now prohibited in these spaces. "Go zones" where the single-use containers are permitted include locations such as Ramon Lucio Ballfields, Rio Vista Pool, and city facilities including the Activity Center, Pauline Espinosa Community Hall, and Fish Hatchery, as outlined in council documents obtained by KVUE.

Austin-Weather & Environment