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(Washington Post)   Washington DC: Our plastic bag tax has hugely reduced their use. YAY, environment. Critics: OK, then why are you collecting the same amount in taxes now as you did 4 years ago? DC: Uhhh..hey, did you catch that Chris Christie news conference?   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 87
    More: Fail, UHHH, YAY, Washington DC, press conference, environments, tax collections, sales taxes  
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6758 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Jan 2014 at 2:01 AM (50 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-09 09:16:44 PM  
Meh, you just pay the extra 5 cents.  The only time it really comes into play is if you are buying one pocket/purse size item and you realize when they ask you about if you want a bag that you don't really need one.

The reduction effect, obviously, is a load of horseshiat.  Most people don't shop with disposable bags.
 
2014-01-09 09:18:15 PM  

Lsherm: Meh, you just pay the extra 5 cents.  The only time it really comes into play is if you are buying one pocket/purse size item and you realize when they ask you about if you want a bag that you don't really need one.

The reduction effect, obviously, is a load of horseshiat.  Most people don't shop with disposable bags.


Really? Most people don't shop with disposable bags? It seems to me that most people are using disposable bags.
 
2014-01-09 09:23:03 PM  

cameroncrazy1984: Lsherm: Meh, you just pay the extra 5 cents.  The only time it really comes into play is if you are buying one pocket/purse size item and you realize when they ask you about if you want a bag that you don't really need one.

The reduction effect, obviously, is a load of horseshiat.  Most people don't shop with disposable bags.

Really? Most people don't shop with disposable bags? It seems to me that most people are using disposable bags.


I meant reusable.  But now that I think about it, most people don't shop with disposable bags, either.  Most people don't arrive at a store with any bags in tow, they get them at checkout.
 
2014-01-09 09:26:38 PM  

Lsherm: cameroncrazy1984: Lsherm: Meh, you just pay the extra 5 cents.  The only time it really comes into play is if you are buying one pocket/purse size item and you realize when they ask you about if you want a bag that you don't really need one.

The reduction effect, obviously, is a load of horseshiat.  Most people don't shop with disposable bags.

Really? Most people don't shop with disposable bags? It seems to me that most people are using disposable bags.

I meant reusable.  But now that I think about it, most people don't shop with disposable bags, either.  Most people don't arrive at a store with any bags in tow, they get them at checkout.


Hence why the tax is a good idea.
 
2014-01-09 10:00:51 PM  
If taxing something reduces its prevalence, we should tax poverty.
 
2014-01-09 10:47:00 PM  

cameroncrazy1984: Lsherm: cameroncrazy1984: Lsherm: Meh, you just pay the extra 5 cents.  The only time it really comes into play is if you are buying one pocket/purse size item and you realize when they ask you about if you want a bag that you don't really need one.

The reduction effect, obviously, is a load of horseshiat.  Most people don't shop with disposable bags.

Really? Most people don't shop with disposable bags? It seems to me that most people are using disposable bags.

I meant reusable.  But now that I think about it, most people don't shop with disposable bags, either.  Most people don't arrive at a store with any bags in tow, they get them at checkout.

Hence why the tax is a good idea.


If it was a good idea, out would work, no?
 
2014-01-09 10:47:44 PM  
It......curse you Swype..
 
2014-01-09 11:06:02 PM  

cameroncrazy1984: Lsherm: cameroncrazy1984: Lsherm: Meh, you just pay the extra 5 cents.  The only time it really comes into play is if you are buying one pocket/purse size item and you realize when they ask you about if you want a bag that you don't really need one.

The reduction effect, obviously, is a load of horseshiat.  Most people don't shop with disposable bags.

Really? Most people don't shop with disposable bags? It seems to me that most people are using disposable bags.

I meant reusable.  But now that I think about it, most people don't shop with disposable bags, either.  Most people don't arrive at a store with any bags in tow, they get them at checkout.

Hence why the tax is a good idea.


I'm ambivalent about this.  Yes, it's a good idea to try to reduce plastic bag use for environmental reasons, but it's also a PITA.  True, reusable bags aren't a bad alternative, I just never remember to bring mine with me.

There's a Save-A-Lot near by neighborhood where I shop occasionally.  They charge for plastic bags, though not out of environmental concern as much as they're just incredibly cheap (as in the way they run the place, not the prices, though those aren't bad).  If I'm picking up groceries it's usually on my way home from work, but I usually don't think about buying groceries on my way home on my way to work, so the reusable bags never end up in my car and I end up having to buy bags there.
 
2014-01-09 11:07:17 PM  
I use reusable bags for supermarket. Not so much for environmental reasons. It's just a better system to carry things.

I'm lazy...and I can fit 3 times the stuff into a reusable bag than the store's plastic bags. That means less trips to the car. The reusable bags don't eject stuff all the floor board or trunk like the plastic bags too so that's another point in their favor and less work for me and less surprises when I find that container of sour cream that fell out of plastic bag in the trunk 2 months later.
 
2014-01-09 11:20:50 PM  

optikeye: I use reusable bags for supermarket. Not so much for environmental reasons. It's just a better system to carry things.

I'm lazy...and I can fit 3 times the stuff into a reusable bag than the store's plastic bags. That means less trips to the car. The reusable bags don't eject stuff all the floor board or trunk like the plastic bags too so that's another point in their favor and less work for me and less surprises when I find that container of sour cream that fell out of plastic bag in the trunk 2 months later.


No argument there, the reusable bags are certainly superior - they just require you to think ahead when shopping.

Also, it seems like grocery stores are cheapening out with their bags lately.  They seem much more likely to tear and have things suddenly fall through them than before.

Also, while I'm on the subject of plastic bags, for some reason the baggers at my local Publix like to load 2-liter soda bottles in horizontally, so when you're carrying the bag by the handles, the bottles are lying side by side parallel to the ground.  They don't do this at any other store I've been to, and I don't know why they do it there, but it makes them more difficult to carry and seemingly puts more stress on the bag.
 
2014-01-09 11:33:22 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: I'm ambivalent about this.  Yes, it's a good idea to try to reduce plastic bag use for environmental reasons, but it's also a PITA.  True, reusable bags aren't a bad alternative, I just never remember to bring mine with me.


I don't know about you, but beyond weekly grocery shopping, I don't plan on shopping while I'm at work in DC.  If I have to go to CVS in the middle of the day, it's because I'm buying something I need or forgot to bring with me.  So like last week, I bought tissues for the office at CVS for the office because we ran out, paid the 10 cents for the two bags I needed to carry them back, and then threw those bags out.

This fantasy of carrying your own bags with you only works for the old school stay at home mom who plans her shopping trip.  When is the last time you planned your shopping trip?
 
2014-01-09 11:37:17 PM  
We usually shop with cloth bags. And when we don't, I fold plastic ones for trash can usage in the bathrooms. Sometimes I use them as padding for shipping stuff. I keep paper bags in the garage to hold recyclables both in and out of the curbside container. Works well.

/csb
 
2014-01-09 11:37:18 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: they just require you to think ahead when shopping.


After you unload them. Hang them on the door knob and keep them in your car.
 
2014-01-09 11:39:36 PM  
I like the reusable bags, in their current implementation, because they carry more and I don't worry about them ripping.

But the wife and I have never gotten into the habit of taking them to the store with us.

I think when RFID checkouts become the norm you'll see more people use them.  If you can bag your groceries while you shop, in the cart, and then checkout in 6 seconds without having to transfer your loot into flimsy plastic bags the time savings will be more of an incentive to do it than environmental concerns or something like DCs tax.
 
2014-01-10 12:11:41 AM  
Honestly, I like Costco's box method the best. Recycling in action.
 
2014-01-10 12:48:23 AM  

Lsherm: TuteTibiImperes: I'm ambivalent about this.  Yes, it's a good idea to try to reduce plastic bag use for environmental reasons, but it's also a PITA.  True, reusable bags aren't a bad alternative, I just never remember to bring mine with me.

I don't know about you, but beyond weekly grocery shopping, I don't plan on shopping while I'm at work in DC.  If I have to go to CVS in the middle of the day, it's because I'm buying something I need or forgot to bring with me.  So like last week, I bought tissues for the office at CVS for the office because we ran out, paid the 10 cents for the two bags I needed to carry them back, and then threw those bags out.

This fantasy of carrying your own bags with you only works for the old school stay at home mom who plans her shopping trip.  When is the last time you planned your shopping trip?


You could just put the bags in the trunk of your car as soon as you empty them after a shopping trip. Though I guess that might not work if you have to park a long way from your house.
 
2014-01-10 02:05:03 AM  
plastic bag bans are dumb; shop at stores outside of the ban zone that still provide bags. Austin banned plastic bags, but the areas around it (cedar park, buda, etc) still allow them.
 
2014-01-10 02:06:58 AM  
Where I live (not D.C.) they have a plastic bag ban which is an actual ban. To get even a paper bag you have to pay $0.05. Unless you go to a shady bodega, in which case you can get all the plastic bags you want.
 
2014-01-10 02:13:13 AM  
I bag my own groceries in either plastic or paper based upon whatever the fark I want.  Your fascist taxes can go lick the asshole of a week old dead skunk and get cancer for it
 
2014-01-10 02:13:14 AM  
I have a reusable shopping bag folded up inside my handbag, just in case. I don't mind terribly paying five cents extra for a bag, but I certainly do mind that the five-cent bags are all paper. Try carrying a paper bag of groceries six blocks in Seattle in the winter -- I've had more than one bag start dissolving on me.
 
2014-01-10 02:13:22 AM  
The headline makes no sense. If you put a fee on something to discourage its use, and then gripe that the fee isn't bringing in any revenue...  you've accomplished your goal.
 
2014-01-10 02:13:36 AM  
The reason why I don't like the bag tax where I am is because nothing is done with it except creating a new income stream for the big companies.

They aren't required to do anything to help the environment with it,  it just goes in their account.

They can buy stacks of plastic bags for pennies,  per bag it costs them like 0.003 of a cent but they get to charge 5 cents per and put it in their back pocket,  screw that.
 
2014-01-10 02:14:29 AM  
And so did this thread prove why the tax is a good thing. People, by and large, are assholes, and too lazy to make even a minor change that protects the environment* unless forced into it financially.

Double the tax, I say.

* this includes me
 
2014-01-10 02:18:42 AM  

Boo_Guy: The reason why I don't like the bag tax where I am is because nothing is done with it except creating a new income stream for the big companies.

They aren't required to do anything to help the environment with it,  it just goes in their account.

They can buy stacks of plastic bags for pennies,  per bag it costs them like 0.003 of a cent but they get to charge 5 cents per and put it in their back pocket,  screw that.


Wat?
 
2014-01-10 02:22:20 AM  

Phil McKraken: Boo_Guy: The reason why I don't like the bag tax where I am is because nothing is done with it except creating a new income stream for the big companies.

They aren't required to do anything to help the environment with it,  it just goes in their account.

They can buy stacks of plastic bags for pennies,  per bag it costs them like 0.003 of a cent but they get to charge 5 cents per and put it in their back pocket,  screw that.

Wat?


You don't really think the companies aren't getting kickbacks do you?  Corruption exists for a reason
 
2014-01-10 02:22:32 AM  

Phil McKraken: Wat?


What part do you need clarification on?
 
2014-01-10 02:23:43 AM  
My town just banned them and allowed retailers to charge for paper bags. Took about a year but most people are carrying reusables.
 
2014-01-10 02:24:15 AM  
We have a couple of these. When they're empty, they fold up into themselves, and are about the size of 2 decks of playing cards. They've been great.

www.walkinroll.org

Plus we have insulated bags for milk and ice cream, but those don't save any space at all when they're empty ... Can't have everything.

The hurdle for most people is just getting in the habit of remembering to grab some bags when you head out to the car in the morning. If only to put them in the trunk in case you have to run to the store on short notice. Just add it to your mental list: "Wallet, check; car keys, check; bags, check"
 
2014-01-10 02:25:20 AM  

Triumph: If taxing something reduces its prevalence, we should tax poverty.


Most places have a lottery already.
 
2014-01-10 02:26:34 AM  

Boo_Guy: The reason why I don't like the bag tax where I am is because nothing is done with it except creating a new income stream for the big companies.


Yeah, those fatcats at the bodega are livin' large off Big Plastic when I buy my skittles and toilet paper.
 
2014-01-10 02:27:22 AM  
Isn't it possible that the population went up? That would lead to more bags being used, but less bags per person.
 
2014-01-10 02:27:58 AM  

Triumph: If taxing something reduces its prevalence, we should tax poverty.


Tax women who won't have sex with Farkers.
 
2014-01-10 02:28:22 AM  
m/

/this is me raising my pinky finger every time I refuse a plastic bag at the grocery store.
// carried my item up to the cashier w/o a bag, can walk out the store w/o a bag too
/// crowd fund my M/V equipped to recycle plastic out of the ocean so we can all get rich mofo
///suck it
 
2014-01-10 02:29:55 AM  

Hey subby: what DC actually said was:



Brian Van Wye, who manages stormwater programs for the Environment Department, said several factors could explain why bag tax revenue has been stable while residents report using fewer bags, including the District's recent population growth and the openings of several new grocery stores. He also credited increased city outreach and enforcement of the bag-tax, causing more businesses to remit bag-tax revenue that has been used to clean and restore waterways.

Yilmaz said it's "hard to say why" the collections haven't dropped, despite the survey findings and anecdotal evidence. While the use of bags may be stable or rising in absolute terms, she said, the rate of disposable-bag use could be declining when factoring in the city's rising population and incomes.

More people + more transactions + same bag revenue = fewer bags per transaction.

And suddenly, doesn't seem totally implausible, does it?

/ Math is hard
 
2014-01-10 02:31:25 AM  

NateAsbestos: The headline makes no sense. If you put a fee on something to discourage its use, and then gripe that the fee isn't bringing in any revenue...  you've accomplished your goal.


I think the headline is suggesting that if people were truely using less plastic bags, then the revenue from the taxes should have dropped in those four years.
 
2014-01-10 02:32:39 AM  
If something will fit in my pocket, I tell the checker that I don't need a bag.  On the other hand, I do hang onto the receipt to ward off over-zealous security guards who think I'm stealing.  As for the bags, my wife is very diligent about using them as garbage bags around the house.  Many of our little bedroom and office garbage cans are the right size to use grocery bags ;)
 
2014-01-10 02:32:52 AM  

suicide: Boo_Guy: The reason why I don't like the bag tax where I am is because nothing is done with it except creating a new income stream for the big companies.

Yeah, those fatcats at the bodega are livin' large off Big Plastic when I buy my skittles and toilet paper.


facepalm.jpg

I'm not saying its a hugs amount of money to them but I still don't like being charged for bags in the name of the environment when the companies just get to keep it.  Either they or the government should be forced to use the proceeds for some environment helping purpose or get rid of the fee.
 
2014-01-10 02:36:32 AM  

soakitincider: plastic bag bans are dumb; shop at stores outside of the ban zone that still provide bags. Austin banned plastic bags, but the areas around it (cedar park, buda, etc) still allow them.


This.
 
2014-01-10 02:37:39 AM  
No matter what the tax rates indicate this is still a good idea.  Most folks when they pay for something tend to want to use it for its worth.  We use every plastic bag bag we get for bedroom/bathroom trash receptacles which, I suspect, most other families do also.
 
2014-01-10 02:41:41 AM  

Boo_Guy: suicide: Boo_Guy: The reason why I don't like the bag tax where I am is because nothing is done with it except creating a new income stream for the big companies.

Yeah, those fatcats at the bodega are livin' large off Big Plastic when I buy my skittles and toilet paper.

facepalm.jpg

I'm not saying its a hugs amount of money to them but I still don't like being charged for bags in the name of the environment when the companies just get to keep it.  Either they or the government should be forced to use the proceeds for some environment helping purpose or get rid of the fee.


My point was that all kinds of companies offer plastic bags. It's not exclusive to "big companies" and calling it a "revenue stream" is a bit of a stretch.
 
2014-01-10 02:44:28 AM  

Triumph: If taxing something reduces its prevalence, we should tax poverty.


We should tax tax and then there would be less tax. Oh wait, that's just as stupid.
 
2014-01-10 02:53:57 AM  

suicide: Boo_Guy: suicide: Boo_Guy: The reason why I don't like the bag tax where I am is because nothing is done with it except creating a new income stream for the big companies.

Yeah, those fatcats at the bodega are livin' large off Big Plastic when I buy my skittles and toilet paper.

facepalm.jpg

I'm not saying its a hugs amount of money to them but I still don't like being charged for bags in the name of the environment when the companies just get to keep it.  Either they or the government should be forced to use the proceeds for some environment helping purpose or get rid of the fee.

My point was that all kinds of companies offer plastic bags. It's not exclusive to "big companies" and calling it a "revenue stream" is a bit of a stretch.


It's enough money to them that they don't want to give it up,  it pays for the bags several times over so  it sounds like revenue to me.  But yes it's not a huge amount to a chain grocery store.

It hasn't slowed the use of bags here and the money doesn't go to an environmental fund so get rid of it.
 
2014-01-10 02:55:36 AM  
$.05 each? Geez. What do you guys poop in when you're trying to discourage the homeless people from going through your garbage?

do you go like directly in the garbage bag? I mean it just won't have the same effect as three empty beers cans that are forced to rub together because of the limited space in the bag and a terd. It's the perfect homeless surprise pack.
 
2014-01-10 03:02:27 AM  

fugeeface: soakitincider: plastic bag bans are dumb; shop at stores outside of the ban zone that still provide bags. Austin banned plastic bags, but the areas around it (cedar park, buda, etc) still allow them.

This.


You will change where you shop just so you can get a plastic bag?
 
2014-01-10 03:04:38 AM  
You can't even get plastic bags in half the cities around here.  Even though they were recycled. Which just means more paper used by some...and that I have to buy more trash bags, which aren't recycled.
 
2014-01-10 03:10:06 AM  
www.wrestleenigma.com
 
2014-01-10 03:12:27 AM  

parahaps: fugeeface: soakitincider: plastic bag bans are dumb; shop at stores outside of the ban zone that still provide bags. Austin banned plastic bags, but the areas around it (cedar park, buda, etc) still allow them.

This.

You will change where you shop just so you can get a plastic bag?


Dude... really? what do you jerk off into if you don't have plastic bags?
 
2014-01-10 03:14:57 AM  

parahaps: fugeeface: soakitincider: plastic bag bans are dumb; shop at stores outside of the ban zone that still provide bags. Austin banned plastic bags, but the areas around it (cedar park, buda, etc) still allow them.

This.

You will change where you shop just so you can get a plastic bag?


I have at times.  I like them, and reuse them all the time.  They are very useful and I resent being forced to not be able to use them, as bans do.
 
2014-01-10 03:33:31 AM  
I seem to remember when we switched to plastic bags because we wanted to save the trees. Now that we realize how bad plastic is, tax bags to encourage people to byob. How about we just go back to paper that we can recycle. I really don't mind the extra .10$ (that's the charge here in CA) but it's amazing how butthurt people get over it.
 
2014-01-10 03:39:32 AM  
FTFA: "Having said that, [the city]'s objective is not to collect fees; instead, our objective is to change behavior "

So, uh...does that mean you're going to stop collecting the fees, then, since the behavior isn't changing?

Or is it possible that maybe collecting fees is more important than changing behavior after all?

I guess time will tell.
 
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