Plastic Bag Bans: All Talk and No Action?
Several U.S. cities in recent years have been talking about banning the use of flimsy plastic shopping bags -- or imposing fees on them ...
But according to a story in the New York Times, it's a lot of talk but not a lot of action:
Regarded by some as a symbol of consumer culture wastefulness, plastic bags have been blamed for street litter, ocean pollution and carbon emissions produced by manufacturing and shipping them.
Momentum for imposing fees or bans has expanded from a few, often affluent, liberal cities on the West Coast -- San Francisco was the first big city to ban plastic bags, in 2007 -- to dozens of legislative proposals in states like Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Texas and Virginia.
Yet as support increased in places, the national economy began to decline. No state has imposed a fee or a ban.
As the Times notes, city officials in Seattle last summer became the first in the nation to approve a 20-cent fee for every bag sold. But that's now going to be put to a ballot vote later this year.
But a petition drive financed by the plastic-bag industry delayed the plan. Now a far broader segment of Seattle's bag carriers -- its voters -- will decide the matter in an election in August.
Even in a city that likes to be environmentally conscious, the outcome is uncertain.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
Appeals Court Sides With States Against Obama's Immigration Order3 hours ago
Who's Really Writing Missouri's Agricultural Laws?12 hours ago
Assisted Suicide Still Happens Where It's Illegal12 hours ago
Texas House to Take Up Bill to Allow Guns on Campus16 hours ago
California Drought Means Electricity Production Is Down at Many Dams17 hours ago
The Perils of Building a Bottled Water Plant in Drought-Stricken Oregon17 hours ago