Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Is this a joke

San Francisco may become the first city in the nation to charge shoppers for grocery bags.

The city's Commission on the Environment is expected to ask the mayor and board of supervisors Tuesday to consider a 17-cent per bag charge on paper and plastic grocery bags. While the goal is reducing plastic bag pollution, paper was added so as not to discriminate. (Emphasis mine)

What the heck?!?!? They are considering taxing plastic shopping bag because they want to reduce plastic bag pollution. That at least makes sense. Though adding the tax to paper bags because they did not want to discriminate between the bags is nonsense. Bags do you have feelings, you cannot make one angry, you cannot promote one over the other.

Of course the article is just throwing out garbage to hide the truth.

""The whole point is to encourage the elimination of waste, not to make people pay more for groceries," said Mark Murray, executive director of Californians Against Waste. "

Actually that is trash also.

"Officials calculate that the city spends 5.2 cents per bag annually for street litter pickup and 1.4 cents per bag for extra recycling costs. "

The real reason why they are considering the tax is because it will save them money. Of course you probably will not see any of the money that is saved returned to the tax payers, will you.

via Of the mind



Sojourner said...

I can't even recall the last time I was offered paper as a bag choice. "paper or plastic?" remember that? It seems so passe now. I was always shocked when people chose paper.....no offense!
They probably just through paper in there just because. You know how legal types are.

ben christy said...

It doesn't SAVE anybody anything what it does is generate additional funds for their already BLOATED budgetThey are claiming the tax(and that is exactly what it is... a new tax) is to reduce costs and reduce polution but assigning the tax to every option doesn't change a thing. There will still be the same people carelessly throwing their trash to the wind... but if you charge people, there will be an increasing number of people who will reason "I've paid for it" as they discard something when they would otherwise have looked for a trash can. If one wants to reduce litter one needs to increase the other options. I'm talking trash cans, fines and recycling deposits.
There will always be litterers, what you need to do is increase the incentive to (a)do otherwise and (b) pick-up after them.
the answers
(A) First defense, I almost always look for a trash can before dropping something that I don't wish to carry anymore thus more trash cans mean less litter
(A) Second defense, The agressive enforcement of a debilitating littering fine. This fine needs to be large but fair(I like the small warning fines for first timers that balloon as violators presist in their misdeeds) and there should be increased enforcement for a crime that has often been overlooked.
(B) First defense, Refundable deposits will increase ones desire to retain a discardable item (throwing it away loses the deposit)
(B) Second defense, A refundable deposit gives incentive to pickup after someone who has discarded an item(it's money in their pocket)

One Last Thing to Consider...

Where are these things coming from? I know a few wind blown strips of land and if you went by the trash in them one would conclude that a dozen bottles of cheap wine (wrapped in their distinctively small but tall paper bag) were sold for every bag of groceries.(again distinctive in size and shape) Determine the source and tax accordingly!


Cubicle said...

thanks for stopping by ben.

And i agree that they are just trying to pad their budgets.

and i also agree witht he LOSB (i have not been asked if i wanted paper of plastic in quite awhile)