While we are on the subject of taxes that have good intentions and would have bad results, we would like to put the kibosh on the proposal to charge consumers a tax on plastic bags used at supermarkets.
The idea is that this would encourage people to use reusable canvass bags. This might work on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, but it will not work in Sunnyside, College Point or other neighborhoods where families often buy as much as $200 worth of groceries at a time.
That is a lot of canvass bags.
This is a negative incentive that will not help the environment. What it will do is annoy shoppers and the stores forced to charge for the bags. If the real reason for this is to protect the environment, then create incentives — like coupons and other bonuses — for people who return the plastic bags.
Do it right and instead of feeling angry and annoyed, shoppers will feel good about this.
©2008 Community News Group
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