bag tax

New York Poised to Charge 10 Cent Bag Fee

This week, New York city council received a proposal from two of its members which would impose a 10 cent fee on plastic bags distributed throughout the city. While the council was hesitant to suggest an outright ban, Mark Huffman of Consumer Affairs writes that the council hopes that the measure would encourage people to be more ecologically sensitive when they shop in the city. The fee would exclude bags given for take-out foods, medications, and alcoholic beverages.

Pennsylvania Considers Statewide Bag Fee

In a move which could lead to the first state-wide tax on plastic bags, Pennsylvania's senator Daylin Leach has proposed a $0.02 fee on bags distributed by retail establishments. The bill is SB 1080, and was introduced on August 6th, 2013. According to Kelly Phillips of Forbes, the 2 cent fee would be divided, with one penny going to the retailer to improve their own recycling program, and one penny going to the state.

Industry Fears Economic Impact of Bag Legislation

Plastic bag bans have been on the rise in America as local governments have begun to respond to consumer concerns about single use plastic. Alongside increasing instances of plastic bag legislation has emerged the voice of the movement's most vocal opposition, the plastic bag industry. An article from the Huffington Post this weekend discusses the recycling industry's opposition to the bag ban trend, and blogger Laura Moss speculates that the reason behind the opposition simply boils down to industry interests.

Chico, CA Pushes for Bag Ban Despite Threat of Lawsuit

Chico county, California is resuming the push for its previously stalled plastic bag ban proposal in the wake of Marin county's victory against the plastics lobby in late June. Chico county's bag ban was put on hold after receiving a threat of lawsuit from the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition – an industry group with an interest in promoting the continued use of plastics.

Should America Ban the Plastic Bag?

Plastic bag bans have been the subject of much debate in America recently as a number of states have taken on the challenge of finding solutions to the growing, unsightly problem of plastic pollution. In a thought provoking article featured on the New York Times, correspondent Elizabeth Rosenthal discusses the controversy surrounding banning plastic bags in New York City. For many other cities, such as Seattle, San Francisco, and Dublin, a bag ban or tax was a simple new measure to adapt to. With barely a bag in sight, Rosenthal writes, life goes on.

Northern Ireland Implements 5p Bag Tax

An article from the BBC yesterday marked the beginning of Northern Ireland's new tax on plastic carrier bags, which has now officially come into effect. The tax mandates that retailers must charge 5 pence for each new, single-use carrier bag that is handed out in shops, and these funds are sent directly to the Department of the Environment. The Department hopes that the fee will discourage the use of plastic bags by 80%, but they have also applied the fee to paper and starch-based bags in an effort to promote the usage of reusable bags across the board. According to the article:

Plastic Bag Tax Proposed By Louisiana Lawmaker

Louisiana may be the next state to join the plastic bag ban battle as Democratic representative Regina Barrow of Baton Rouge has proposed an amendment to the state constitution requiring a 5 cent charge on all single-use, disposable plastic bags. If successful in the legislature, House Bill 529 would then proceed to voters for a decision during the 2014 general elections in November. 

Hawaii Lawmakers Consider Plastic Bag Tax

Despite the Hawaii-wide ban on plastic bags set to take effect in 2015, lawmakers are working on a temporary solution that they feel will save taxpayers and the environment from paying the price of plastic pollution. According to Mileka Lincoln of Hawaii News Now, lawmakers would like to introduce an intermediary bag tax in order to prevent the environment from suffering any further pollution. Lincoln writes:

House Bill 357 would require businesses to charge a dime for each single-use bag provided to customers at check-out.

Marks & Spencer Green Chief Attacks Government's Plastic Bag Policy

In an article published by the Guardian today, Mike Barry, head of the sustainability efforts at UK supermarket chain Marks and Spencer, has criticised the UK government's weak stance on plastic bags, saying that the coalition has shifted its aims regarding green policy, and should institute a charge on plastic bags issued at shops. Barry helped launch Marks and Spencer's "Plan A" campaign, which has been an effort to be more mindful of the consumer's impacts on the environment. He insists that the government must work harder to promote sustainability, and

Port Townsend, WA to Ban Plastic Bags

An article in the Peninsula Daily News this week announced that Port Townsend, Washington will be joining the growing ranks of towns in which plastic bags have been banned. According to contributor Charlie Bermant, plastic bags will be banned, and a 5 cent tax will be levied on all regular sized paper bags. The ban excludes plastic bags covering newspapers and dry cleaning, and the tax on paper bags excludes smaller bags for produce. These measures have been implemented to encourage shoppers to bring their own, reusable bags. Writes Bermant:

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