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Plastic overload
The next sin tax
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California lawmakers have approved a measure that would make the state the first to impose a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags, the Associated Press reports.
Even though it will be good for the planet, the bill was controversial and took years to pass, since it will hurt the business of plastic bag manufacturers. So, it didn’t pass until it included $2 million in loans to help manufacturers shift to producing reusable bags, and a provision that lets grocers charge 10 cents each for paper and reusable bags.
Why it took a ruling from the California Legislature to allow stores to charge for the bags is a mystery. It appears to be another case of people wanting to be ordered to do the right thing, because no one wants to just do it. (Like when restaurants waited for an ordinance to ban smoking.)
At any rate, Kansas and other states should consider similar legislation. We already tax the heck out of gasoline, as well as the so-called “sin taxes” on beer and cigarettes — so why not a sin tax on laziness (or convenience, if you prefer) that causes a buildup of plastic in our waterways and landfills?
Years ago, we were urged to switch from paper to plastic. For the Heartland, we’re told that is still the “greener” choice, since we don’t have to worry about the impact on oceans. But the best choice of all is to recycle.