What Do You Think of the Proposed Five Cent Tax on Plastic Bags?

| 4/23/2009 11:25:05 AM

Tags: Plastic Bag Reduction Act of 2009, Jim Moran, plastic, taxes, environmental legislation, question to readers,

Yesterday, to coincide with Earth Day, representative Jim Moran (D-Va.) introduced the Plastic Bag Reduction Act of 2009, proposing a five cent tax for single-use bags — including grocery sacks, dry-cleaning bags, take-out food bags, retail bags and service station bags — to take effect January 1, 2010. The funds collected from the tax would be distributed four ways. Of the five cents, one cent would cover a tax credit for retailers implementing a qualified carryout (single-use) bag recycling program, one cent would go to the Land and Water Conservation Fund,  one cent would be dedicated to state and local trash reduction and watershed protection programs, and the remaining two cents would go toward reducing the national debt.

To find out more about the proposed bill, view a PDF of the Plastic Bag Reduction Act of 2009, read the National Plastic Bag Bill press release from Moran's page at the House of Representatives' website, or check out New bottle deposit, bag tax bills touted for combating pollution from the New York Times.

What do you think of the Plastic Bag Reduction Act — would you vote for a federal tax on non-reusable retail bags? 

6/6/2009 2:24:56 PM

Eco Friendly Bags - Recycled (RPET) If people would just buy a $2 recycled reusable bag maybe the government would chill out on the taxes. Stop being lazy and invest in something that's reusable. It'll stop the tax AND is good for the enviornment AND reduce the amount of plastic bags used. Use your head, don't sit here and whine about a tax do something about it... you know kinda like we use to do way back when. People can post comments all day and whine about what they like and don't like, but the people who are making a difference are the people that get up and DO. The recycled bags come in lots of colors and sizes and you can even customize them online! So don't use the excuse that they're ugly. They're sold just about everywhere. It's sad when an 18 year old can use her head better than her elders.

6/5/2009 1:19:52 AM

I vote a big NO! I actually reuse plastic bags--for taking out the trash, for scooping the cat boxes... Not all cities have a recycle program. Ours just went away in fact due to the economy. I've heard there are supposedly biodegradable bags for litter box refuse, but guess what, our stores don't have them! I have actually bought the reusable bags only to forget and leave them in the car of my trunk. And here's another thought--when I buy a new plant, or anything that gets the inside of the reusable bag filthy, I hardly want to put fresh groceries into that same bag later on. Clean it out? What? And then waste water? No, no more taxes! I am sick to death of taxes! Instead of getting rid of plastic bags, come up with a better solution for their use!

5/25/2009 10:54:16 AM

Just eliminate plastic bags. Offer only paper and charge 10 cents per paper bag (that will be incentive for people to reuse the bags).

5/23/2009 10:05:00 AM

I agree We have miss used to many plastic bags and are filling our land fill up with to much plastic. This would help to possible stopsome of this.

julia gardner
5/8/2009 8:57:00 PM

While I agree that something has to be done about our over consumption of plastics and other materials harmful to our planet, I don't agree with the 5 cent tax and it's distribution........A better solution might be educating our citizens or providing incentives to use other methods of transporting purchases.......If in fact this bill is passed the entire 5 cents should go to environmental concerns...... Our government created this national debit with their own stupidity and should have to clean up their own mess without adding extra taxes to the already over taxed population. One solution would be for our overpaid polititions to take a pay cut and they should also lose unnessicary benifits such as new cars every few years.....make them buy their own cars for personal use and sign one out from the motor pool for official business. That would increase the funds for cleaning up the national debt.

julia gardner
5/8/2009 8:56:18 PM

While I agree that something has to be done about our over consumption of plastics and other materials harmful to our planet, I don't agree with the 5 cent tax and it's distribution........A better solution might be educating our citizens or providing incentives to use other methods of transporting purchases.......If in fact this bill is passed the entire 5 cents should go to environmental concerns...... Our government created this national debit with their own stupidity and should have to clean up their own mess without adding extra taxes to the already over taxed population. One solution would be for our overpaid polititions to take a pay cut and they should also lose unnessicary benifits such as new cars every few years.....make them buy their own cars for personal use and sign one out from the motor pool for official business. That would increase the funds for cleaning up the national debt.

5/5/2009 3:13:06 PM

I agree with an earlier poster who suggested that we adopt Europe's policy of charging for plastic bags.

5/3/2009 7:25:00 PM

I knit and/or crochet my own shopping bags out of left over yarn. People comment in the store about how colorful they are. I just toss them in the washer and dryer when soiled. They are durable, as well as beautiful. I sell them in a boutique. I do not need the plastic bags. No more taxes needed, too. Be like Europe where you are charged for each bag used. I get tired of our government trying to legislate curbs on society's gluttony. There has to be a better way to teach people alternatives to the current norm. We are too comfortable. Brown paper bags, which I prefer, can be shredded for garden mulch.

5/2/2009 6:27:30 PM

I don't think a tax is going to stop people from using plastic bags. They just need to stop being an option. No more plastic bags in the stores means people will bring their own bags to shop with. Sounds like a pretty simple solution to me.

4/30/2009 9:06:00 AM

NO NEW TAX! These efforts to control the masses, by taxing everything that is legal, has gotten totally insane. If the activity is that horrible why allow it to be legal but taxed? This is just a way to collect more revenue - to be wasted!

joy shepard_2
4/30/2009 8:41:27 AM

OMG we do NOT need another tax. I reuse my plastic bags to death (until they literally fall apart), I also donate them to be reused to local thrift stores, I also give them back to the stores to be recycled. I think that if you really were to look at it, you would see that the people this would really affect would be the people that already do what they can with what they have to help the environment. You want to impact someone, try to find a way for the rich and richer to impact the environment without laying heavily on those who can afford anymore than they already do!!

4/30/2009 6:15:27 AM

no taxes!!!! the government already has it's hand to much in our pay checks as it is. We pay at least 55 percent of our money to taxes now. We are taxed when we die,when we get married and yada yada yada. We pay taxes all during the year then the government wants more at he end. So I say NO NO NO to the tax idea.

4/29/2009 10:00:24 PM

Get rid of all the bags within a retail store! We would all save a few bucks in the long run. All of those nasty bags cost the retailers a small fortune. So who is really paying for those nasty bags? WE ALL ARE! It takes 30 days to make a habit and to break one. If you were to go to the grocery store a couple of times and forget your method of toting the groceries home it will not take 30 days at all! I can assure you that you will catch on quickly that you need to bring your own method of transportation with you. Just say NO! Think of it as a positive experience, we can all do it. JUST SAY NO! PLEASE!

barbara kelly_1
4/29/2009 7:29:48 AM

No tax on the bags. Especially at the supermarket. Once again, such a tax will disproportionately impact those with the least amount of disposable income, and will have no affect on those who can afford to pay the nickel plastic-bag fine. Unless they are already moved by a genuine desire to improve the environment, the well-off will continue using plastic bags. The nickel tax will add to the cost of food for the poor, and the well-off will be smugly pleased that they have done something for the environment. Outlaw the use of plastic bags; many of them are so flimsy that they don't make it home anyway. Cloth/reusable bags are costly at the outset. Supermarkets and others who use them should offer the preferred bags as give-away incentives to shoppers, bolstered by PR and ads about their being "Green".

4/28/2009 4:50:51 PM

why tax plastic bags ...just outlaw them .stop producing them ...tobacco needs to disappear also

lisa d.
4/28/2009 3:15:21 PM

The pollution caused by our over-reliance on plastic, paper, and other "diposable" items has grown to astronomical proportions. To get people's attention, the tax should be more than the proposed nickel. I would vote for it if it were a quarter per bag. Meanwhile, there is no recycling center in my small community so I've began my own form of it. I make plarn (plastic yarn) and have made quite a few bucks by crocheting it into shopping totes, rugs, etc. Other people save bags for me and are glad they aren't going to a landfill but being put to use instead. That being said, I would still rather have a large tax increase than all the "free" crafting materials. I believe I'm creative enough to find other materials.

4/28/2009 12:20:49 PM

Here's the rest: According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. An estimated 12 million barrels of oil is required to make that many plastic bags. Plastic bags cause over 100,000 sea turtle and other marine animal deaths every year when animals mistake them for food.Each high quality reusable bag you use has the potential to eliminate an average of 1,000 plastic bags over its lifetime. Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter each year.According to the EPA, over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year. Plastic bags don't biodegrade, they photodegrade - breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest. Plastic bags wrap around living corals, quickly "suffocating" and killing them. (U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Plastic pieces can attract and hold hydrophobic elements like PCB and DDT up to one-million times background levels. As a result, floating plastic is like a poison pill. (Algalita Marine Research Foundation). Approximately 500 nautical miles off the California coast sits a growing "plastic island," a gargantuan patch of floating plastic trash held together by currents stretching across the northern Pacific almost as far as Japan. This "plastic island" is made up of about 7 billion pounds of plastic garbage, and measures about twice the size of Texas. Each year, enough trash - most of it plastics - floats down the Los Angeles River to fill the Rose Bowl two stories deep. (Los Angeles Times, "Altered Oceans").

4/28/2009 12:18:38 PM

I see a tax as the only way. People have not and will not open their eyes on their own. For example, here are some facts many of you probably don't know: Recycling rates of either type of disposable bag (paper or plastic) are extremely low, with only 10 to 15% of paper bags and 1 to 3% of plastic bags being recycled, according to the Wall Street Journal. The original biodegradable bags, introduced about ten years ago, are made from resins containing polyethylene, starches and heavy metals such as cadmium, lead, and beryllium. They are still on the market today. Both biodegradable and regular disposable plastic bags require a similar amount of energy, natural resources and costs to produce. Mixing of biodegradable bags in recycling systems for conventional plastic bags creates a sorting nightmare and can render entire batches of recyclable plastic useless. Bag littering could easily increase as people start to believe that biodegradable bags are less harmful to the environment and will disappear quickly it takes at least 18 months for most to breakdown.The breakdown of starch-based (bio-degradable) films in water consumes oxygen, resulting in oxygen depletion (in oceans) that contributes to algae blooms and the death of marine life.Water, soil, and crop contamination could result from the use of compost with chemical residues from biodegraded bags. Introduced just over 25 years ago, the ugly truth about our plastic bag addiction is that society's consumption rate is now estimated at well over 500,000,000,000 (that's 500 billion) plastic bags annually, or almost 1 million per minute. Single-use bags made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) are the main culprit. Once brought into existence to tote your purchases, they'll accumulate and persist on our planet for up to 1,000 years. According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. An estimated 12 million barrels of oil is required to make th

4/28/2009 10:58:25 AM


4/28/2009 10:09:24 AM

I am all for a tax on single use plastic bags. Maybe the biggest user is not the individual but businesses. For example we regularly purchase small glass products (8 oz) from Wal-Mart for use in our pottery business and Wal-Mart wraps each glass in a plastic bag and then put 5 wrapped products in another plastic bag. When we have brought our own wrapping paper and bag they have refused to use it. By the way plastic wrapping is not good portection against glass breakage.

anton nel
4/28/2009 1:26:40 AM

In South Africa we have to pay for plastic bags at shops if you require one for the past four or five years already. We had a huge problem with plastic bag pollution before that. When this tax was introduced there were many complaints, but it actually had a positive outcome with lot less being thrown away and much more re-use or being replaced by more sturdy re-usable cloth bags. Shoppers eventually got used to bring their own re-usable bags or carry the stuff in their hands if small quantities. I notice lately a small increase in pollution again, but not nearly as much as was the case before the tax. I think it was worthwhile.

4/27/2009 11:19:44 PM

I don't have an issue with bags. I have so many re-uses for them: litter box collection, recyclable carrier, and so many places take them for reuse, namely my thrift store. I wouldn't object to a 2cent surcharge for the front'-end buyer, but not a prohibitive tax.I can use them, and it saves me buying garbage bags.

4/27/2009 10:00:51 PM

no more tax. It is a way for the stores to make money. Now we can do environmentely "plastic" bag, why not use them? Each store sell reusable bag... in plastic.. in coton with there logos.. what a pub and we pay for that! I use reusable bag but I make them myself. thanks

dave chmielewski
4/27/2009 9:29:19 PM

I live in a city where those plastic bags are both a blight on the landscape AND a waste of resources. I say let's really give an incentive and charge a quarter per bag. It won't take long for people to learn to use reusable bags nor for some bright entrepreneur to invent a reusable bag that will fit in a purse or a pocket that people will want because it's fashionable.

4/27/2009 7:23:44 PM

When the politicians quit riding in limos and start using public transportation, and downsize their mansions and cut out the pork then maybe, just maybe taxing the bag might make sense

richard dean
4/27/2009 7:06:34 PM

i personaly think its a joke about plastic bags, in my opinion they should be simple stop makeing them , and stop makeing foam and plastic cups . im sure im going to get some heat back on this one, but i work at soup kitchens in detroit and ther amount of foam cups and plastic forks spoons and so on , would blow your mind on what we take out to trash i told them to stop buying foam cups and go to like dixie paper cups and it has cut down the amount we take to trash so i thinj the tax would be nice idea but i dought it would work , for the simple reason people will still throw them out, its just human nature we have become a desposable nation all over the wourld i better stop since im starting to babble on

bev walkup
4/27/2009 6:45:29 PM

This could cause a lot of small business people more work just to keep up with all of the taxes--like we need more tax work for small business people. Big box stores can keep up with this with their computer systems, where as the small guy has more headaches. This as in most things needs more education outlays to the public---let them make the right choice--and they will. Do not let big brother shoulder over us on anything else. No new taxes.

debi dahl
4/27/2009 6:23:37 PM

I think the plastic bag tax would be great. How about a credit for those of us who have been using reusable bags for years now?

4/27/2009 5:54:53 PM

Here in South Australia we have 10c deposit on all bottles and cans, milk cartons and plastic bottles so you take it back to the recycle place to get your money back. Plastic bags are now banned here, you have to take your own greeen bags or boxes to do the shopping, If you forget you get charged 25c a plastic bag.

linda mechel_1
4/27/2009 5:54:43 PM

My daughter lives in Los Alamos NM, and when I went to visit her I was amazed that almost everyone there carried cloth bags around to use-even the men. The Smiths store there charges 5 cents a bag for plastic. I do not know if the other stores there do or not. When we went to Santa fe I noticed quite a few cloth bags there too. Here in Toledo it is starting to catch on but I think only 25% of people use cloth. I am a crafter and have made many really cool bags to use and get many comments on them. I do know that many of the store clerks look at me as if I were crazy to hand them a bag to use and one bagger at Krogers even bagged my stuff in plastic first and then put it into my cloth bag,

4/27/2009 3:56:13 PM

We have a bottle bill in Ct. ($.05 deposit on some containers like beer and soda). Most of the streetside deposit container litter is picked up, but there is still a lot of litter everywhere. MacDonalds, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, etc., etc. food and drink containers. There are also many plastic bags as well as disposable diapers everywhere. With litter so prolific why just place the deposit spotlight on plastic bags? Does someone have a plastic bag phobia? If the purpose of the deposit is to reduce litter, why not address litter? To paraphase a saying from another group; Plastic bags don't litter, people litter. Sorry, but people are the root cause of litter. Why some people litter is beyond me, but why don't we address the root cause instead of dancing around the problem? Is it because it is easier to legislate a tax than it is to really solve the problem?

karen schoening
4/27/2009 3:41:23 PM

No, plastic bags should not be taxed. They are not truly single-use but can be reused in a variety of ways. I manage a small grocery/convenience store where we have NEVER purchased plastic bags; our customers bring them in for us to use, and we use the ones I get from shopping for the store. We do buy some paper bags but mostly reuse those also. I also use them at home to line garbage cans, carry or separate various items, as garbage bags in the car, to hold the litter when cleaning baby chick bins, etc. There are also multiple local sites where they can be recycled if they are not reusable (ripped bags). I used to go to a summer camp where plastic bags were crocheted into throw rugs for the cabins. Instead of a new tax, maybe people should be made aware of ways to reuse them and places to recycle them.

caroline halliwill
4/27/2009 2:46:07 PM

To erv brinkman, I don't know where you live in Michigan, but I live in the Upper Peninsula and we are not free of bottles and cans littering our highways. Most of the litter comes from tourists who come up here during the summer and in the winter for snowmobiling. It's easier to throw something out the window up here in the winter because it gets covered very quickly by snow or gets blown out into the fields and who is going to know? Just those of us who have to clean up their mess. I use totes and boxes when I go shopping. Save A Lot, up here, will sell bags (both plastic and canvas) for the shopper to use. Otherwise, you have to use plastic and paper bags that have been left by another shopper or use the boxes under the countertop. When I used my own totes at another store where a bag person bagged my items, I got a lot of support from the customers behind me in line. It does take a little longer to bag because the bagger is not using the uniformity of plastic and paper bags. However, there is always that one person who thinks that the inconvenience he suffers by waiting longer in line is too high a price to pay for being "green." I don't think a tax on plastic bags is an incentive not to use them. I reuse my plastic bags. However, there are many people who will think that the tax is a small price to pay for convenience. Not much thought goes into their choices.

4/27/2009 1:52:09 PM

This is just about getting more revenue while trying to look like they are doing something about a problem. If they really wanted to do away with plastic bags they would charge far more that a nickle tax. Charge a half dollar tax a bag and people will STOP using them.

4/27/2009 1:49:29 PM

i think the tax is a great idea EXCEPT i think the 2cents sent toward the national debt is not something we citizens should have to pay toward. the people responsible ought to pay it.

elizabeth revels_4
4/27/2009 1:29:19 PM

citizenery than yes tax them and I will bring my (handmade) bags and enjoy my extra five cents. Think local everytime you decide where your doller goes, support artists in your community, and keep your local enviroment clean and safe for not just your children but mine and everyone else's. (Sorry part of my post got cut off see the first part before you read this)

ann wise
4/27/2009 1:27:59 PM

ANYTHING that can be done to promote green living works for me.If you don't like paying and extra .25, then bring your own bag.It really isn't rocket science, now is it?The next time you are out driving in your fuel effecient vehicle, scan the countryside and look at all of the plastic bags and garbage that is everywher!So, bring your bag and get over it!

elizabeth revels_4
4/27/2009 1:24:24 PM

YES YES YES...tax the people who would be content to keep their heads up the rear ends. Stores in my area have offered in the past an incentive to use cloth and other reusable bags. Most people have ignored it. There is no reason why anyone who would not take the positive of incentives should be allowed to endanger the health of my family and the local eco system. If I were shopping at the farmers market in which Mr Alan Jones was at I would gladly bring my bag to him and get my extra piece of fruit or five cents off at the stores where I live. Incentives only work for those who are already of a mind to chose them to the alternatives. For those of you who use them for other purposes I apploud that, but I ask you do you really need to make enough trach to use them for trash bags? Could you not be mindful of using other plastic sources to pick up your dog poop, or even old news paper for that matter. The chemicals that go into the making of plastics are some of the most harmful there are. I agree with many of you that paper should be taxed also. If we are taking out the trees that will help secrestor the carbon in the air than it won't matter what kind of bag we use. Pat and I are on the same side when it comes to taxing other plastics like bottles and containers. But I think on glass it should be a refundable deposite to give the consumer incentive to bring it back. If a product can not be packaged in glass like shampoo then there should be no tax on that item. I recently asked Dr. Bronners soap company if they would take their plastics back and they can not nor can they use my bottles to refill them and send them back to me. I will now only use the bar soap and not the liquid. I can use the paper as part of a fire starting bundle. I think many of you should read the book cradle to cradle to get a better understanding of what we are doing in terms of trash in this country. If it can't be done in a responsible way by the majority of the citiz

jim johnson_1
4/27/2009 1:22:05 PM

BAD IDEA, I am so sick and tired of all the taxes that we pay and the politicians who dream them up. Show some backbone and take personal responsibility for what you do!!, YOU can make a better world, We don't need a bigger government in any, shape or form.

alan jones_1
4/27/2009 12:16:19 PM

This tax would absolutely kill me at the farmer's market. More and more of my customers are bringing their own bags and we usually reward them by throwing in an extra piece of fruit or a vegetable, but I cannot buy reusable bags for what the big box stores can, nor can I sell them for what the big box stores can. I applaud the idea, but there has to be a better way. Money talks and if the consumers demand it, it will happen.

derek frank_1
4/27/2009 12:13:15 PM

sorry for the triple post puter problems

derek frank_1
4/27/2009 12:11:28 PM

No new tax..... I use both some cloth and some plastic. Since i drive a truck for a living i use the plastic for trash bags. When will we stop giving our basic right away. The goverment wasnt put here to make pepole responsable for there poor jugement in protecting the earth. If we want to make others understand than we need to let them know whats happing to the earth. Not let our goverment steal our money saying it will change the way pepole shop. Give me a break this is just one more way to fill their pockets with the money we all work for. When was the last time you saw a politican work with his hand like we all do. again I vot no more taxs for any reason........

4/27/2009 11:53:16 AM

Yes, the majority of our government are theives so the tax is not a good idea. In Germany you have to buy bags. I like the idea of bringing your own cloth, hemp or bamboo bags. It's funny, that the majority of our government are also Christians just like the majority of our prisoners. Hmmm?

4/27/2009 11:44:06 AM

Before any such tax should be inflicted on the consumer, the stores collecting the tax and their bag usage should be looked at. Paying a deposit on bottles in one thing: X amount deposit per bottle - no wiggle room there. However, when I go through the checkout with 10 items and they get packed up into 4 separate bags if I'm not watching the baggers like a hawk (too busy watching the register for mistakes on that end) why should I have to pay for their discretionary use of more bags than are needed? Maybe the tax should be on the stores purchasing and condoning the use of plastic?? Those corporations might start to take note of how many bags are being used. I don't know that taking minimum wage-paid employees who already couldn't care less about packing a cantaloupe on top of a dozen eggs and making them into tax collectors is the answer. Everyone should be pitching in a doing their part, but why put the entire burden on the consumer?

4/27/2009 11:43:15 AM

Aldi has that handled just fine. If you don't have a bag, they'll sell you one. Hardly anyone goes to Aldi's without a bag. All the stores have to do is not offer bags and the problem will take care of itself. I'm not a fan of government incentives or taxes. I don't want to be taxed and I don't want to be given a reward for bringing my own bag. Let the market place take care of itself.

4/27/2009 11:26:15 AM

NO TAX! Government has already proven itself incapable of handling our money, why give them more? Sure, the premise 'sounds good', but let people govern themselves. I shop at a grocery store that sells paper bags, reusable plastic and cooler bags, as well as large fabric bags (made of recycled materials!). At this store you also have the freedom to use any empty boxes around the store and to bring your own bags. It's an idea that would work at more than just 'economy' stores - the big grocery chains and big box retailers could follow suit IF they choose. Consumers could initiate the process themselves by carrying their own bags into the store to use. There are a lot of ways to economize in this area and we are all responsible for making it happen.

4/27/2009 11:08:20 AM

Why not have the stores charge $.25 per bag MANDATORY. No free plastic or paper bags from the store and the store must give a $.25 for every bag of your own that you bring. The store gets to keep the quarter if the consumer is lazy and the consumer gets $.25 off if they remember their bags. It has to be a National Law to be consisent. And no store should be allowed to give away bags for free.

linda m
4/27/2009 11:04:34 AM

"Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question." Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

4/27/2009 10:56:08 AM

Don't tax.This will just give congress another way to access our money for pork! I favor a deposit or an in store tax credit for using cloth bags..maybe both since we won't always have enough bags and will choose to supplement with plastic.

taxed to death_2
4/27/2009 10:55:25 AM

When will we all learn?? The government has proven over and over that they cannot be responsible with our money. They are theives. What makes anyone think they will spend these billions of nickels as outlined in this bill? Remember Social Security, it's broke. Remember them giving our hard earned money to rich corporations? NO, NO, NO. I WILL VOTE NO ON ALL TAX ADDITIONS AND INCREASES!!!!

4/27/2009 10:51:58 AM

Absolutely, but tax paper too. We should all be bringing reusable bags. I recently moved to a small desert city and my husband and I have named it bag town. The entire countryside and river is littered with plastic bags. It is so depressing to see.

4/27/2009 10:37:15 AM

In agreement with some of the comments above, an incentive program (tax break, reduction, etc) would be the way to go. The price has increased on cigarettes and has that deterred people from smoking? No, not really. People respond to couponing, saving money, tax breaks, etc. If I forget my clothe bags in the car, I give one my my teens the keys and send them out to snag 'em! Thank you for the heads up!

criss kraus
4/27/2009 10:30:17 AM

Most stores in my area have a recycle bin right by the entrances. When I forget my cloth bag collection I often grab some of those. The government needs to realize it shouldn't tax everything to get people to change. Incentive programs like tax breaks or discounts on the purchased items when one brings their own bags is far better. I believe the incentive programs would have a greater affect on what people use and how we shop rather than a tax. Tax me any more and I would end up on welfare!!!!!!

criss kraus
4/27/2009 10:25:23 AM

No, I would not vote for this tax. If we taxed plastic bags we need to tax paper bags. How about a TAX BREAK if you bring your own bags - paper, plastic or cloth?

4/27/2009 9:43:23 AM

No, I wouldn't vote for this tax. We have way too many taxes the way it is, and there are other ways to approach this that would probably be just as effective. Consumer education is a good place to start. People who won't listen to that are the same people who will go ahead and pay the 5 cent tax for plastic bags anyway.

zelda scalia_2
4/27/2009 9:43:02 AM

I say yes to paying for plastic bags. I choose plastic at my supermarket because they are easier for me to carry from the car than a large paper bag. I recycle them by using them in my bathroom waste can. I also take them to our local flea market for the sellers to use when someone buys something from them. I reused my plastic bottles until I found out you shouldn't reuse them. I don't buy bottled water. I have a water filter on my faucet. If we don't take care of our earth, who will? Why did it take the high cost of oil to get car manufacturers to bring out electric cars? I would go solar to heat my house if I could afford the change. I wish to government could help people change to that with a grant.

erv brinkman_2
4/27/2009 9:37:46 AM

I do not want a tax. I do want a deposit of 5 cents. The State of Michigan has a 10 cent deposit on cans and bottles and the State is absolutly free of cans and bottles littering the landscape. If fact a new industry was created to process the returned containers. There is an incentive to return the cans and bottles and not a penalty. Incentives always work better than penalites. Only 7or 8 States have deposit laws. It we had a National Deposit Law the problem of plastic and container littering would be solved. You would get like a 90% reduction in littering and would recycle the vast majority of the products produced which would creat jobs and reduce global warming.

4/27/2009 9:18:15 AM

Last year, most stores in my area gave out cloth bags to all their clients. Today you have to buy the same bags but most of us just bring the free ones we were given. I use them to bring my lunch to work and for shopping. Having cloth bags is just conveinent. The stores get free walking ads and return clients. Stores like Trader Joe's didn't give free bags so I use bags from other places. I have bags from INTEL, a local home improvement store, Safeway and local stores. One small store I go to is having bags made up because the owner always see me come in with his competition's bag. I hate the clutter of plastic bags so keeping 8 cloth bags in my trunk just fits my personality better.

4/27/2009 8:38:09 AM

I would not favor a tax on plastic bags. It would just put more pressure people to use paper e.g. more trees. What I would like is an incentive program to recycle plastic bags. Some of the big box stores already have bins that you can recycle bags and this is good, but there needs to be some encouragement to get people to do it. Perhaps what is needed is a discount if you bring your own reusable bags/boxes to the merchant. I fear most people would not participate in a program like this unless there was something in it for them.

4/27/2009 8:31:14 AM

I lived and farmed in Austria where no food stores offered free bags. Everyone brought their own. They sold heavy duty plastic bags for 25 euro cent and I rarely saw anyone buy one. With the modern invention of cooler bags there seems no logical reason to even offer the throw away bags that exist in america. After a wal-mart opened nearby where I live now the surrounding fields were speckled with blue plastic dots - as far as the eye could see. It's sad that something hasn't been done sooner.

4/27/2009 8:04:59 AM

A great idea that I'd also like to see expanded to include paper bags, plastic and glass water and fruit juice bottles, etc. Back in the "days of my youth" we had "shopping bags" that we used for all of our purchases, it was a good idea then, and now!

4/26/2009 10:03:49 PM

I like the idea. I see this as a tax that will change the way people view these plastic bags, as something of consequince, not as a disposible afterthought. Let's face it, anyone who is on this site pretty much knows that single use bags are a bad thing. It's the thousands of people who don't give them a second thought that will be affected by this. Charge a nickle for the bags and everyone will begin to limit their use. I see people all the time buying a single item and carrying that item out in a bag???? Besides, this is a voluntary tax, if you don't like it, use a cloth bag.

4/26/2009 8:50:41 PM

I think we should charge for plastic and paper bags and for plastic bottles for soft drinks and water. Period.

carol tibbs
4/25/2009 9:57:45 PM

I think the tax is mainly to bring our attention to plastics, most plastic material is made with oil or petroleum . They are now making plastic bottles that are made with corn and are biodegradable, why not make the bags with the same stuff. I think it would not hurt anyone to start remembering to bring your own bag (byob) when you go shopping whether it is to the grocery store or to the clothing store. In the very near future we all have to start making life changes, why not start now. The grocery stores love to give you plastic bags, they put one or two items in each bag, if they had to pay more for their bags, maybe they would do a little differently also.

david grubba
4/25/2009 11:50:58 AM

Dogear6 has it right. The obvious solution is to charge five cents for ANY bag! Paper or plastic, both are wastes of resources. And both are equally reusable. Who doesn't want a bit of extra brown paper? Or a water-impervious bag?

lee johnson_3
4/24/2009 12:46:40 PM

I don't see anything wrong with the bag tax. If you don't like it use cloth bags and it won't cost you a dime. Oh boo hoo you don't want to carry coth bags. T.S. your grand kids will as say we tried.

bob gutterman
4/24/2009 12:32:27 PM

BAD IDEA. The movement to ban plastic bags with a prohitive tax is based on urban myth that plastic bags harm the environment. A 5 cent tax on an item that costs 1 cent! give me a break. would we stand for a $20 tax on a 6 pack of beer. plastic bags are a litter problem, but they do not harm the environment in any other way. Bad people litter. there are no toxic chemicals in plastic bags. Plastic bags are not a "problem" in landfills. when plastic bags were invented they were embraced by the environmental movement, as an alternative to excessive use of paper. Ban bags and more paper will be used. this is a fact, check out the studies on the results of the ban on bags in San Francisco. I suspect the paper industry is behind this. The hope is that everyone will use reusable bags, but in reality this will not happen. Lastly, the truth is that it takes less than half the energy to make and transport a plastic bag as compared to paper, and the carbon footprint of plastic is less than paper, and there are no chemicals used and then dumped into the rivers as compared to paper.

4/24/2009 12:42:23 AM

why not tax something that would do a "good" change? They tax us for everything anymore. I personally use cloth bags but I like the idea.

john brandes
4/23/2009 9:09:08 PM

I like the idea of reducing the plastic bags that are in use today. It is really gross to see these things caught in bushes and tress along the roadsides. Paper bags would degrade after a fairly short time. These nasty plastic bags seem to linger forever. Paper bags are made from paper, which means it is a renewable resources so thats good too.

4/23/2009 4:23:38 PM

I think the tax should be on paper bags too. Personally, I can reuse plastic bags for trash and animal poop. I find paper bags to be equally offensive and since I have less ways to reuse them, more problematic.

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