If Taxing Plastic Bags Discourages Their Use, Then Logically…

By January 8, 2010Taxation

Paid our first nickel for a plastic bag yesterday to carry out an omelet. The sausage gets the recyclable cloth bags too greasy.

The reasoning behind D.C.’S new 5 cent per bag tax is straightforward. As FoxNews.com put it:

The fee is intended to cut down on litter and encourage people to bring their own reusable bags to shop.

MyFoxDC.com reports that for every nickel collected, one cent goes to the retailer and four cents goes toward cleaning up the notoriously polluted Anacostia River, which flows through the nation’s capital.

To summarize, raising the cost of plastic bags discourages their use to achieve a social good.

So what’s the theory here? From The Washington Post, “10-cent fare hike proposed to help close D.C. Metro budget gap.” It must be that too many people are using mass transit, making it necessary to raise fares and discourage use of buses and the subway.

Elsewhere, other governments have been inspired by D.C. leadership on the plastic bag tax. Because Washington is such a worthy model of municipal administration.

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