Plastic Bag Ban (Tax)

Blog post #1:

Recently, Baltimore City Council gave final approval to ban plastic bags. The ban, which prohibits retailers from providing plastic bags to customers, will go into effect in January 2021.

Mayor Young said in a tweet, “I signed the Comprehensive Bag Reduction Act into law. I am proud that Baltimore City is leading the way in creating cleaner neighborhoods and waterways so we can leave our city and state to our children better than we found them.”

The legislation would forbid Baltimore City retailers from giving our plastic bags or any other alternative bags – like paper bags.  Retailers will be required to charge customers a nickel (5-cent) for any kind of bag they supply to shoppers. This ban would apply to the Cities’ grocery stores, convenient stores, pharmacies, gas stations, & restaurants – including carryout items.

It should be noted, the law does not ban the use of plastic bags used by City residence; it only bans retailers from handing them out.

Proponents of the plastic bags ban says, “Plastic bags hurts our echo-system and harm wildlife.”

I, like most want a healthy & safe environment for generations to come. But does the plastic bag ban truly accomplish a better or healthier environment???

What most do not know?

Baltimore City Council has tried nine (9) times since 2006 to ban plastic bags. (That’s 9 times!!!) However, the original bill called for 4 of the 5 cents collected to go into the City government and just 1 cent to the store owners. But after numerous complaints from store owners, the bill was amended to 1 cent collected go to the City & 4 cent to retailers. So, the City government wanted the lion share of the fee to go to themselves. Interesting indeed.

Sidebar:

  • If plastic bags are really such a danger to our environment, why doesn’t the government just band them all together?
  • Or why doesn’t the City ban retailers from selling them rather than taxing the consumer.

Missing from the new ban intentionally:

  • How many plastic bags are currently being used in Baltimore City?? (You see, if they give this information, we can easily figure out how much revenue is expected from the new ban.
  •  Whatever the amount collected, what will the retailers, in general, and the City government, in particular do with the extra money?
  • How does this new money help with plastic bag pollution?
  • The word Tax. Politicians know that when people hear a new tax is coming, some negative feedback is likely to come their way. (Make no mistakes about it, it’s a tax)

City Council woman Danielle McRae was the only one to vote against the ban. She says, she supports the idea of plastic bags being banned but oppose the five cent fee on customers for each bag; “it’s an unnecessary and regressive tax on low income residents or working families on a fixed income,” said McRae. Well said Councilwoman McRae.

Now Tru Talk:

  • Other counties and a few States have instituted similar plastic bag bans tax with little to no appreciative difference in bag pollution.
  • Since the City has tried to ban plastic bags (9) times, neither the City government nor the retailers cared much about plastic bag pollution. They care more about how the tax would be divided.
  • It doesn’t matter which one gets the 4 cent or the 1 cent, plastic bags are still polluting the environment.
  • If we get rid of plastic bags, what’s the alternative?
  • Paper bags: Well, we got rid of paper for plastic because paper bags weigh more than plastic. Therefore, it takes more energy to transport them; and paper bags are made using more toxic chemicals. They also require more trees to be cut down.
  • Cotton bags – Cotton requires lots of land, water, and fertilizers to grow; it also uses a lot of pesticides.
  • Reusable bags: Many reusable bags are made of materials that are hard to dispose of, such as polyester, nylon, or polypropylene. While some recycling facilities do exist for these materials, they are few and far between.
  • Even if some politicians are trying to create additional revenue via the ban tax, we all must do our part. No matter what kind of bags you use, reuse them as much as possible, even plastic.

Since plastic of some kind will be with us for quite sometime, DO NOT LITTER. Otherwise this!!!!

Sources: https://www.reusethisbag.com; https://www.theatlantic.com; http://www.allaboutbags.ca/


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