According to the Washington Post, Washington DC’s 5 cent tax on plastic bags, instated in January, has already dropped the number of plastic bags handed out by food stores from an average of 22.5 million per month in 2009 to just 3 million in January! What a huge difference! And, the tax not only significantly reduces plastic waste, it has also generated $150,000 in revenue.
Who charges this tax? Bakeries, delicatessens, grocery stores, drugstores, convenience stores, department stores and any other “business that sells food items” must charge the tax on paper or plastic bags. And many stores give a 5 cent credit to anyone bringing their own bags.
I love this–I really do. A simple 5 cent tax–with revenues going towards an environmental cause voters rallied around–and consumer behavior is changed for the better in a truly big way. I love that just 5 cents is enough to make consumers reconsider taking a plastic bag.
The results are nothing short of miraculous so far–there are 19 million less plastic bags in a landfill because of this tax!
Is this new? Here maybe. But, San Francisco, Los Angeles, China, Tanzania, Mumbai, Mexico City and others have already implemented bans or fees for plastic bags.
I am thrilled. I think plastic bags should be outlawed. Not that paper bags take any less energy to produce or don’t harm the environment, but they at least degrade and are not choking and suffocating wildlife.
I suggest reusable bags and the ones I love and always carry I received as a gift. They came from Envirosax. Thank you, Carolyn.
Whatever you choose to use, please, No More Plastic Bags!