Plastic bag taxes and bans continue to pop up just about everywhere in America these days. Some seem driven by groups like the Surfriders Foundation and others concerned about marine debris. Others have an element of "here's something that the public hates that we can tax" from cash-strapped cities like New York. But most of the proposed taxes and bans have not been successful. (Colorado shot one down today, for example). The New York Times has a feature story on the topic today, noting that "momentum for imposing fees or bans has expanded from a few, often affluent, liberal cities on the West Coast ... tto dozens of legislative proposals in states like Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Texas and Virginia. "Yet as support increased in places, the national economy began to decline. No state has imposed a fee or a ban." Why have bag taxes and bans failed? The story credits bag makers, who have stepped up marketing efforts and brought lawsuits against cities that have tried to impose bans and fees. (Check out the photo on the coalition's Web site -- it makes President Obama look like he's a plastic bag supporter!) The story also notes that, "Despite its popular appeal, the issue has not been a priority for national environmental groups. They are more likely to focus on broad federal issues like carbon emissions, renewable energy and use of public lands."
Bag taxes frequently proposed, but few actually adopted
Do you have an opinion about this story? Do you have some thoughts you'd like to share with our readers? Plastics News would love to hear from you. Email your letter to Editor at [email protected]