5 US Cities and States Fighting Plastic Bags, 5 Cents at a Time
Photo via Chicagoist Plastic bags are bad news. Beijing and San Francisco got the memo, and pioneered bans on plastic shopping bags. Now, mayors and legislators across the country are moving to discourage plastic bag use in their cities and states by imposing fees on plastic bags that range from 5 to 20 cents. The economic climate is unsteady, to say the least, and many feel that now is the wrong time to implement a new fee. Others believe the plans will bring much needed government revenue. Still others think that public backlash is inevitable. But these 5 cities and states are pursuing plans to bag the bag anyways. 5 Cities and States Hoping to Go Bag-lessThese states and cities have leading plans to cut plastic bag use. Even though there hasn't been much action yet, according to the New York Times, hopes are high that these plans will pave a way to a plastic bag-less future.
New York City – Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing a 5 cent fee for each bag (used to be 6). The plan's still in early stages, and would have to pass through the treacherous political black hole that is the state legislature in Albany—"where good bills go to die," according to some New Yorkers. What do you think happened to Bloomberg's famous congestion bill?
Connecticut – A bill in Connecticut would put a 5-cent fee on both paper and plastic bags could raise as much as $10 million a year for the struggling, underfunded Environmental Protection Department. Kim Fawcett, the Representative sponsoring the bill says the bill is just as much about changing behavior as earning revenue.
Maryland – Democratic Delegate Alfred C. Carr is pushing a 5 cent fee on plastic bags that would pay for the cleanup efforts in Chesapeake Bay and Anacostia River. He says he hasn't heard any of his constituents object to the plan.
Seattle – They already gave bottled water the boot. Now, with the most ambitious plan of them all, Seattle's plan to charge a 20 cent fee per plastic bag was already approved by city officials. But a petition from the plastic bag industry delayed the plan. Now the fate of the bag fee is left up to Seattle residents, who will vote on the plan in August.
Portland – Portland's mayor proposed a 5-20 cent fee on plastic bags last year—this year, he's said that the time's not right to pursue, so he's leaving the issue alone. But we can expect to see progress on the anti-bag front come out of Portland in the near future.
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