cent tax on grocery bags
cities to attempt a g nike store uk rocery bag fee aimed at helping the environment.
City officials are nike store uk considering a proposal that would put a tax on supermarket bags, and it’s likely that many stores would try to pass the extra cost on to consumers. The measure is primarily being pushed by environmentalists who view plastic grocery bags as a menace, not as a modern marvel of convenience.
“Folks take the free plastic bag for granted,” says Mark Murray of Californians Against Waste, which supports the proposal. “The idea is to use the fee to communicate there is a dollar and cents impact.”
Plastic bags, which account for 90% of the city’s grocery sacks and cause its recycling machines to jam, aren’t the only target of the tax. Both paper and plastic bags litter the city’s streets. As a result, according to a study by the city’s Environment Department, the 50 million paper and plastic grocery bags used in San Francisco each year cost the city 17 cents apiece for cleanup and other costs, adding up to $8.5 million.
If the measure is enacted, San Francisco will once again be at the forefront of environmental activism.
Millions of barrels of oil a year are required to make the USA’s plastic bags.
Bags stack up in landfills.
Plastic bags add to plastic debris in the ocean, which hurts marine life.
Source: San Francisco Department of Environment
But the grocery and plastic industries say city officials should bag the idea.
The fee “is an incredible amount of money to a consumer,” says Paul Smith of the California Grocers Association. “Before you know it, that’s an extra dollar to your food bill every time you go shopping.”
The city’s Commission on the Environment will consider the idea today. If it agrees to the resolution, which is non binding, it would have to gain approval of the mayor and the city’s Board of Supervisors to take effect.
Murray says plastic bags also add to the growing amount of plastic in the ocean, which chokes marine life. bag making demands 14 million trees and 12 million barrels of oil the main ingredient in many plastics each year. The American Plastics Council and the American Forest Paper Association say those numbers are inaccurate.
Only supermarkets grossing more than $2 million a year would pay the fee. The stores would keep half the money for programs to discourage use of disposable grocery bags. nike store uk The city would get the other half.
Murray says people could cut bag consumption by declining a bag when they buy one item and by taking reusable bags to the market.
The plastics industry argues that the proposal would come at a high cost for little benefit. Eliminating the use of 50 million plastic bags would save only 2,100 barrels of oil, says Rob Krebs of the American Plastics Council.
That’s “equivalent to taking (roughly) 90 SUVs off the road,” Krebs says, a “very minute number compared to the 600,000 to 1 million vehicles in San Francisco.”
The San Francisco proposal is similar to other measures in Ireland, South Africa, Bangladesh, Australia, China and Taiwan, which ban plastic bags or charge a fee to nike store uk use them.