Fee on Shopping Bags May Encourage Promotional Shopping Bags

Promotional Shopping BagsThe City Council of Baltimore is considering a ban on distribution of plastic as well as paper bags by the city dealers. The Council is planning to charge a fine of 10 cents on plastic bags. Brandon Scott, the City Councilman, had initiated a bill recently that suggested the fee on disposable bags. According to this bill, the fee would be applicable not just on the supermarkets but also the service stations, shops, convenience stores, and any sales outlet of the city. However, the bill has exempted the bags used for holding fresh food from the ban.

He said that apart from being an environmental solution, the money gathered from this ban can be used towards better purposes like building and cleaning the parks or for other recreational options. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the Mayor of the city, said that she is open to the idea of charging a fee on such bags. She said that creative ways of protecting the environment will encourage people to accept the measures which will help in creating a sustainable place of living.

Response to the proposal

The proposal is already being protested, mainly by business owners. Robert Santoni, who is an officer at Santoni’s Supermarket, is of the opinion that stores in the city are already paying huge taxes in various forms. So this ban will have a huge impact on small businesses.

Co director for an environmental organization, Brenda Platt, said that such fee implemetation has been effective in reducing the use of disposable bags and encouraging promotional shopping bags that are reusable or recyclable. American Progressive Bag Alliance, on the other hand, states that plastic bags form a small part of garbage and that there is no need of such a restriction on these bags.

According to the bill, it will be the responsibility of the store owners to collect the fine. In case of late payments, they may be subject to penalties and interest. If they do not follow the rule, they may even be jailed or may have to pay a fine of $1000.

Promotional shopping bags versus disposable bags

This is the third time that the city has tried to impose a ban on shopping bags. Though the bill, as of now, states that 25 cents will be charged per bag, Scott will be reducing it to 10 cents. With the implementation of this ban, the council hopes to encourage people to opt for bags that are reusable or recyclable unlike the plastic bags that are hazardous for the environment.

Source: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-06-10/news/bs-md-ci-bag-fee-20130610_1_shopping-bags-plastic-bags-nickel-fee

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