It’s working in Hong Kong. Why don’t we give it a try in America? It seems that after only two days of a tax amounting to six US cents per plastic bag at stores and supermarkets in Hong Kong, plastic bag usage was down 85%.
Not only that, it seems the number of people who brought their own bags or did not ask for plastic bags at supermarkets also increased by a whopping 56% That’s not chicken feed in a city of over seven million souls.
If they can do it in Hong Kong, why can’t we do it here in the United States where it is estimated that the average suburban supermarket goes through 25,000 plastic bags per day? Although more and more Americans are using their own cloth bags, and some environmentally aware supermarket chains( let’s hear it for Whole Foods) are offering a small cash rebate to shoppers who do bring their own bags, the overwhelming majority of shoppers are still carrying home their groceries in plastic bags. In theory, most of us want to cut down on our use of plastic bags, but when it comes time to go out shopping, it is just too much trouble. Introducing a plastic bag tax sounds like a brilliant way to jog people’s memories by giving them a pain in the pocketbook. It certainly seems to have worked in Hong Kong.
It’s not very often that I am in favor of taxing something– but in this case, I think that a federal tax on plastic bags just might be a very good idea. What do you think?
source: Earth Times -July 9,2009