Thursday, May 12, 2011

The plastic bag tax: Going green too extreme?

Came across a really interesting blog post today, "My county Finally Did It! What About Yours?  Our New Plastic Bag "Tax."  This article brings to light the fact that over 1 trillion throwaway plastic bags were consumed worldwide in 2010.

If you've been to any grocery stores lately you've probably noticed that although plastic bags are being used, often they are overused.  Cashiers have seemingly been instructed, only three canned goods each bag, don't put cleaners in with food, large items that shouldn't even require a bag get squeezed into a bag, and some items even justify double bagging.

Fifteen minutes later when you're at home unpacking your groceries it really hits you just how many disposable baggies you were the recipient of.  You want to reuse some but often the opportunities for reuse is no where near the amount of baggies you have accumulated.  Just purely for lack of space, most of these baggies get tossed and end up in the local landfill.

Many families in an attempt to "go green" have opted for reusable bags.  Often kept in their car, they bring them in to the store with them when they shop and no longer require the use of the store's grocery bags.  There is some effort involved in remembering to bring your bags in and in the initial investment of purchasing them, but in the long run you are better off for having used them.

Local municipalities are now exploring the use of bag "taxes" or fees related to the use of the non-reusable grocery/shopping bags.  Would you agree to these?  Imagine having a choice, bring your own bag or be charged .05 cents per plastic or single use bag that you leave with.

Would a nickel be enough to cause you to take action or is it just cheap enough that it would still be worth it to utilize the store's bags?

My thoughts are that if this tax were imposed where I live many people would begin to realize just how many bags they consume and that this would have a great impact on our unnecessary waste production.

What are your thoughts?  Is this tax a good idea or a green concept that's gone too far?  Would you pay the tax or begin using your own reusable bags?


  1. I think the tax is a good idea. But, I already use reusable bags. I hate plastic bags so much, they're everywhere and liter everything.

    Just started following you because I found a freebie on Mommies Who Love Freebies, but I was sadly too late to enter.

  2. Plastic bags are gross. Period. But to start legislation and get another tax passed -- I'm not sure about that. I would rather see stores implement more incentives to get shoppers to bring their own reusable bags.