Bag tax dictates values, doesn’t fix problem

I recycle, and I seldom use a plastic bag, unless it is the most practical solution. However, in this challenging economic climate, the last thing businesses need is one more obstacle to making sales and making customers happy. We should focus on creating a welcoming environment that makes shopping here easy.

What are businesses supposed to say to a valued customer? “You either have to bring your own bag when you shop with us or use a paper bag, which is woefully inadequate for carrying anything but small, lightweight items, or pay 5 cents per plastic bag.” You have got to be kidding. Taxing people who chose to use a plastic bag would be cumbersome, time-consuming and of little value.

If taxing behavior is the answer, maybe the city should increase its garbage collection fees so that residents will be more inclined to recycle instead of throwing plastic in the trash can. That would tax the locals who choose to throw plastic bottles away.

Plastic bottles are a far larger problem here, thousands of miles from the sea, than plastic bags. It seems like this effort to ban plastic bags is more of a symbolic effort to dictate the values and habits of others rather than a practical solution to combat the detrimental effects of plastic bags.

Antonia Clark