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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
    More: Fail, UHHH, YAY, Washington DC, press conference, environments, tax collections, sales taxes  
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6780 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Jan 2014 at 2:01 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
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2014-01-10 08:36:34 AM  
2 votes:
For everyone saying they always forget their bags: My bags live in my car. There's no reason to store any in my house, and yes, they make the car a little messy, but I end up using them for shopping about 75% of the time. Even doing that, and using the plastic ones I get for everything I can think of (trash bags, storage bags) I have a huge supply of the plastic.
Oh, and I haven't bought a single one of these reusable bags- people are always giving them away as a promotional item.
2014-01-10 02:25:20 AM  
2 votes:

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


Most places have a lottery already.
2014-01-10 02:13:22 AM  
2 votes:
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 12:48:23 AM  
2 votes:

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.
2014-01-09 09:26:38 PM  
2 votes:

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 09:18:15 PM  
2 votes:

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.
2014-01-10 06:09:51 AM  
1 vote:
The flat collection rate does no take into account any reduction in bag usage when the fee was imposed. If on day 1 75% of folks opted for the reusable bags and 25% did not, there would be a 75% reduction in plastic bag use. If that same 75%/25% continued  the tax collection would be pretty constant. The real test would be plastic bag purchases by stores before and after the ban.
2014-01-10 04:29:21 AM  
1 vote:
Every supermarket in China charges about 5 mao (10 mao is 1 yuan, $1 is 6 yuan) for a standard plastic shopping bag. Almost everyone uses their own reusable bags (hell, businesses give them away as promotional items) and old people are stingy- they bring their own bags, rather than spend 1 yuan on two bags to carry their groceries. If you go to the local market to buy meat and veggies three times a week (pretty common here), that 12 yuan every two weeks will buy a bowl of noodles.

I usually forget my reusable bags at home since I shop near my office, and I just use the plastic bags in the wastebasket anyway. But I'm fully in support of people using less plastic- that shiat gets everywhere and never breaks down.
2014-01-10 02:37:39 AM  
1 vote:
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 02:31:25 AM  
1 vote:

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 02:29:55 AM  
1 vote:

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
2014-01-09 11:37:18 PM  
1 vote:

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 11:07:17 PM  
1 vote:
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 10:00:51 PM  
1 vote:
If taxing something reduces its prevalence, we should tax poverty.
2014-01-09 09:23:03 PM  
1 vote:

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 09:16:44 PM  
1 vote:
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.
 
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