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Posted on Tue, 01/05/2010 - 11:21
Yesterday, Washington, D.C. imposed a $.05 tax for each new plastic bag consumers use at their local supermarkets, becoming the the 1st major U.S. city to impose such a tax. Proceeds will be used for environmental clean up of local lands and rivers. The measure was not passed without controversy. Many residents felt they were being unfairly punished for using plastic bags. Others felt that the answer was to ban the bags altogether, not charge consumers. Finally, other residents felt that this tax would only unfairly raise the price of groceries as the markets passed along the costs of this tax to customers.
Adrian Fenty, the mayor of Washington D.C., admits the purpose of the tax is not to add a financial burden to the city's shoppers, but to encourage shoppers not to be taxed at all: "I steadied this law in order to reduce the amount of plastic bags that pollute our rivers. We want the whole world know that you can save the river and save five cents bringing your own shopping bag."
On facebook.com/conservingnow, our fans have been sounding off about the bag tax. Shakura Cathryn Tezha Swann wrote, "I agree we should ban plastic grocery bags entirely, but that's not the case yet, so to get people to WAKE UP I think taxing them is a good intermediate step. Tax them 50 cents each, not just 5 cents! Charging the stores, also, is a great idea too!" Jo Hay wrote, "Why is it only 5 cents it should be ten cents but for the actual damage of past plastic bags it should really be twenty bucks. it kills me to watch people get their crap bagged in plastic bring your own bag if you know your going shopping!!!!"
What do you think? Is a tax a good idea or should cities be banning bags altogether?
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