National Disposable Bag Tax Update

Washington, DC, Aug. 14, 2013 (PBBR) - On Earth Day 2013, Rep. Jim Moran introduced a bill, H.R. 1686, known as the Trash Reduction Act of 2013.

The bill, if passed, would place a five cents retail tax on disposable carryout bags nationwide across the U.S. The tax would be charged by all retailers for any disposable bag, paper or plastic.

Since being introduced, what has happened to the bill? Basically nothing. The bill is still in committee. Prognosis? 1% chance of getting past the committee according to govtrack.us.

Someone asked me to name five things that this bill will accomplish if passed:

  1. Create bag regulations that are consistent across the entire U.S.
  2. Immediately reduce the use of billions of plastic bags and paper bags, thereby
  3. Reduce the flow of trash in our solid waste stream (which cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year to manage)
  4. Save the lives of thousands of sea birds and marine animals
  5. Give consumers a choice to pay or not to pay
  6. Create local recycling programs nationwide

I can actually think of more things this bill will accomplish but these points will suffice for now.

OK. What are the negative aspects if this bill passed?

  1. Cost millions of dollars to administer
  2. Retailers would be burdened with reporting paperwork and record keeping
  3. Possibility of job losses in both the plastic industry and paper industry

So that's the pros and cons if a national disposable bag tax is passed. Perhaps you can think of others. I'd love to hear from you. If you'd like to comment, use the Contact form and let us know your thoughts.

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