National Disposable Bag Tax in Congress
Posted by Ted Duboise
Trash Reduction Act of 2013
Washington, D.C., May 6, 2013 (PBBR) - Currently, the United States has no national plastic bag regulations. A bill in Congress will change that if it becomes law.
The bill, H.R. 1686, known as the Trash Reduction Act of 2013, was introduced into the U.S. House on Earth Day of this year by U.S. Rep. Jim Moran. Moran's bill would place a five-cents fee on all disposable bags, plastic or paper, provided by a merchant to a customer to transport purchases. All retailers would be required to charge the fee, not just supermarkets and food stores.
Rep. Moran introduced a similar bill on April 22nd, 2009 which failed to pass. The bill, H.R. 2091, titled "The Plastic Bag Reduction Act of 2009" never made it out of committee. The 2009 bill was very similar to the current bill.
Moran's current bill does the following:
- on any retail sale, impose a tax on each disposable carryout bag
- the amount of tax will be five cents per disposable carryout bag
- the tax must be passed through to the customer
- tax must be separately stated on customer's receipt of sale
Disposable Bag Tax Fund
Moran's bill also delineates how the funds received through the collection of the tax must be disbursed. The retailer will be allowed to retain one cent of the the tax if said retailer maintains a qualified carryout bag recycling program and keeps records of all bag tax receipts.
The remainder of the money will be deposited into the Disposable Carryout Bag Trust Fund, which is created by this bill. The money will be used to pay for expenditures caused by the enforcement of this act.
From time to time, money will be transferred from this Trust Fund into the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LCWF). The Land and Water Conservation Fund maintains the nation's National Parks System. See 2012 annual report at nps.gov. The LCWF also provides matching grants to States and local governments for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities.
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