* Now What?
Nothing for nothing, Jeff Eats is hearing that a few of our elected geniuses in Tallahassee are toying with the idea of charging-us when we use plastic and paper bags. Now, this latest brainchild is only in the talking-stage…but the basic idea is that every-time your purchases are packed into a paper or plastic bag, you’re gonna pay 5-10 cents for the bag. The justification for this “fee” is that it will help conservation efforts.
Now, Jeff Eats being the investigative reporter that he is, did some “hypothetical figuring here”…last week, Publix plastic bags alone coming into the Jeff Eats’ household totalled 13, so at 10 cents a shot that’s $1.30…now throw in 3 more plastic bags from TJ Maxx, 2 plastic bags from Home Goods, 2 plastic bags from Shorty’s BBQ and 7 bags from the Boys Market and we are talking a grand total of $2.70 out of my pocket…now multiply that by 52 weeks and the State of Florida would be hitting me up for $140.40. Now taking this absurd “proposal” even further, the two daily newspapers that are delivered daily to Jeff Eats’ driveway both come in plastic bags, so let’s throw another 730 dimes into the mix for another $73 yearly charge.
The above “examples” are just that…”examples.” Your plastic and paper bag useage could be higher or lower than shown…Of course you can appreciate, that in any given week Jeff Eats’ useage could also greatly vary…the bet here, is that $2.70 figure is probably on the low side if all weeks were taken into consideration.
One of the points of this exercise, is to show you guys that Florida was right to vote against Al Gore (wink wink!) as God only knows what we would be paying by now in conservation fees if he had gotten into the White House…so let’s just be glad that he made a huge fortune buying and selling some Mideast tv station and didn’t get us involved in his nutty conservation schemes.
Anyway…knowing Florida like I do, my bet is that this “tax idea” won’t see the light of day, because the majority of those Tallahassee legislators are scared crapless of losing their elected jobs…Jeff Eats seriously doubts that the Century Village crowd or you guys in The Villages are gonna vote for “legislators” who picked your pocket at the grocery store?
One final thought, today its paper and plastic bags…tomorrow it could be pizza boxes—and then we’ll be talking real serious money–at least in my house, it will be!
Anyway…printed below is a recent article from the National Conference of State Legislatures’ website that kinda explains what’s going on with this “bag” issue around the United States.
Printed below is an article that State Plastic and Paper Bag Legislation: Fees, Taxes and Bans; Recycling and Reuse
Bans and Fees
Recycling Programs and Requirements
Energy and Environment Legislation Tracking Database
Enacted Plastic and Paper Bag Legislation Map
Enacted Plastic Bag State Legislation Summaries
2013 Pending State Legislation Summaries
NCSL Staff Contacts
person holding plastic bagsJune 2013
“States are continuing to consider strategies to reduce the number of plastic carry-out bags from grocery stores and other retail outlets. Some states are targeting paper bags as well. Regulating bags can mitigate harmful impacts to oceans, rivers, lakes and the wildlife that inhabit them. Reducing bag use can also relieve pressure on landfills and waste management.
Bans and Fees
No state has yet to enact a statewide ban, fee or tax. However, Hawaii does have a de-facto statewide ban, as all four counties in the state now ban non-biodegradable plastic bags at checkout as well as paper bags that are not at least 40 percent recycled. Kauai and Maui counties already enforce bans, while Hawaii County’s ban takes effect on Jan. 17, 2013. Honolulu County made the ban statewide when it passed legislation in May 2012. Retailers in Honolulu County have until July 1, 2015, to make the change.
In 2009, the District of Columbia enacted a law to ban the distribution of disposable, non-recyclable plastic carry-out bags and set a fee of 5 cents for distribution of all other disposable bags.
In 2009, North Carolina banned plastic bags for the Outer Banks region, a chain of barrier islands off its coast. However, in 2011, the state passed legislation to temporarily suspend that ban due to a tornado that hit Dunn, North Carolina, which is the major distribution center for paper bags in the area. The ban has yet to be restored.
2013 Legislation Summary
Currently, 6 states – California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington- are considering banning single-use plastic bags, with California’s proposed ban including paper and other single-use bags as well. Washington is considering legislation that would create rules for localities that choose to impose a ban or fee on plastic bags. Legislation in Arkansas and Florida to ban bags failed in 2013.
Eight states – Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington— are considering a fee or tax on the distribution of bags which a shopper will have to pay, either directly or indirectly. Hawaii would impose fees ranging from 5 cents to 25 cents if the state finds that distribution of single-use bags has not decreased 75 percent by a specified date. Depending on the state, the revenue would go to state parks, school districts, community improvement trusts or other public programs. Florida and Maryland proposed fee legislation, but the bills failed.
Recycling Programs and Requirements
States have continued to propose and enact legislation relating to labeling, recycling, and reusing plastic bags. In 2010, California passed legislation that requires manufacturers of compostable plastic bags to ensure that the bag is readily and easily identifiable from other bags. That same year, Delaware enacted an At-Store Recycling Program. The legislation encourages the use of reusable bags, requires stores to establish an at-store recycling program that provides an opportunity for customers of the store to return clean plastic bags, requires that plastic carry-out bags display a recycling message and provides fines and penalties for noncompliance. Illinois passed similar legislation, The Plastic Bag and Film Recycling Act, in 2012.”