Rick Cofer has been active in a variety of causes across Austin and the greater Texas area for the past few decades. Mr. Cofer has been a criminal defense lawyer in Travis County, Texas for the past several decades. Throughout this time, he’s mainly focused on defending minors in the court; this has led him to work with a few different charities that help at-risk young people throughout Texas. He’s also helped many of these young people get back into education and improve their overall quality of life. However, that’s not the only philanthropic cause that Rick Cofer Law has been working on over the past few years.
Over this time, he’s been working with the Austin Parks and Recreation and the Pease Park Conservancy, where he’s been an active board member. This eventually led him to back the banning of companies giving away plastic bags to customers for free. When the ban was being developed, Mr. Cofer was on the Solid Waste Advisory Commission that helped to oversee its development. This was mainly due to the environmental and economic impacts that this ban would have across Texas. Once the ban was introduced, however, it was met with some opposition in the state. This led it being taken up to the Texas Supreme Court where it was eventually removed from the law.
During the six months that the ban was in effect, however, it was reported that businesses in Austin made a reported $500,000 in revenue from the sale of reusable plastic bags. There was also a significant reduction in the amount of plastic bags littering the streets of Austin. Because of this, Rick Cofer and a variety of other Austin residents believe that many companies in the area will continue to voluntarily charge customers for reusable bags while refusing to sell single-use bags. Even though it’s no longer enshrined in law, it looks as though many businesses are set to keep the policy in place. However, Mr. Cofer wasn’t able to name the businesses that would be doing so. This may also be due to how popular the ban was across Austin.
According to a survey conducted by a local newspaper, almost three-quarters of readers were in favor of keeping the ban in place. Only twenty-eight percent of people said that they wanted businesses to bring back single-use plastic bags. According to Rick Cofer and a few local reports, the removal of the plastic bag ban may have been politically motivated; according to some, the ban may have been voted down so that some businesses can keep their net profits as high as possible. However, Rick Cofer has suggested that the likes of reusable cloth bags may be the solution, as they’ll help with a companies bottom line while also being environmentally friendly.