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What do you think about the Bag tax?

  • It's a good thing

  • I don't like it at all

  • I just go with the flow


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mkadams001

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In my neck of the woods we are charged $.10 for using the bags from the store. It makes no difference if it is paper or plastic. I know that there are other regions that are doing the same or trying to get something like this started. I'm wondering what you think about this.
 

H_Rocket

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I've been voluntarily using reusable bags for years. I find them way more convenient. I do approve of charging for plastic as it is really not biodegradable and I have little faith in folks recycling those bags.
 

dave carver

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I watch a youtube channel of a rat rodder. His wife makes quilts. I had her make me 4 quilted bags to carry my groceries. I paid a lot for them but I know they won't fall apart and are of a much higher quality of the store bought versions. I'm out here in Idaho and they are in Union, Maine. I told her I was going to enter a couple of them in the Western Idaho State Fair :) She's was kinda embarrassed with the idea but these are Blue Ribbon bags. When I go shopping at the Co-op the hippy ladies want to buy them from me ;) No way hehe. Buy the store brand bags, their fairly strong.

In fact I'll be heading out here soon to catch the bus to go shopping. I take them to the store in my backpack and carry them the 5 blocks back to the bus stop and I know they won't rip out like a plastic bag can.
 
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jrkennedy2

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Would it be like returnable bottles where you could get the 10 cents back when you returned them? That might be a cool way for kids to make a little money collecting them, or anyone else for that matter.
 

Marc_G

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Nominal fees for such things are OK by me. Where I am, I believe we get a 5 cent per bag credit if we bring our own to reuse.

I like the idea of some cost consequence to usage of things, to make people think about it. And 5 cents or 10 cents (typical charges or credits per bag) are trivial compared to the cost of what goes into the bag, so it's not going to crimp anyone's budget. If you've got say a big load of 10 bags of groceries for a family for a week, the buck the bags cost is probably just a rounding error on the grocery bill, and if that buck is in fact significant, one can always reuse and bring their own.

In my family we have reusable bags (which we bough for a couple bucks each), but I'm lazy and usually just get new bags from the store. However, I'm scrupulous about recycling them. Every couple months a huge load goes back to the store and gets stuffed into the recycling container.

A little known fact is that plastic bags are MUCH MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT than paper ones. I read a study a few years ago that measured the amount of energy and waste involved, per cubic foot of groceries, for recyclable plastic grocery bags versus recyclable paper grocery bags. People often get paper bags because they think they are better for the environment. However, energy involved in recycling paper bags was something like 10x what it took to recycle plastic bags, per cubic foot of grocery space. So, use plastic, but ensure the bags are reused/recycled instead of dumped in the environment, if you want to save the earth. :grin:
 

crossfire

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One other thing a truck can haul 10000s of more plastic bags per trip the paper bags. Less fuel burned when plastic is hauled. as long as plastic is recycled its the way to go.
 

Peartree

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Most stores around here give bags (either kind) for free. The Aldi chain and a couple others don't give bags away but you can buy them, or use leftover boxes, or bring your own. Since my wife is always shopping for good deals wherever they may be found, she keeps a supply of cloth bags in the back of the minivan so that she has them whenever she stops at one of those stores. She usually has an insulated bag for frozen food as well.

As for saving energy, that is only half the picture. There is also a calculation for "total environmental cost." There is a cost to the environment for making the bags and getting them to the store, etc. but it is also worth considering what happens to them afterward. Paper bags, being heavier, don't get caught in the wind and blow away quite as easily and, even if they do, are quite biodegradable. In a year or two, there is little or nothing left. Plastic bags fly away all the time, both from us, accidentally, and in large measures at dumps and landfills where they go when we throw them away. These end up in fence lines, trees, pastures, and waterways. They can cause great harm if ingested by animals (cows will often eat most anything) and it's a huge problem as it goes out to sea. According to the Smithsonian, "A 2014 study estimated that 8 million metric tons of plastic trash enter the sea from land every year—the equivalent of five plastic bags filled with trash for every foot of coastline around the world."

Read the full article here: Smithsonian Institution - Plastic Trash

That said, we still use plastic bags a lot, but I do try to reduce, reuse, recycle, etc. and be more careful with them with I have them.
 

hcmbanjo

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I re-use what plastic bags I have.
They make great rocket masks for larger areas.
Sometimes the bags go back to the store with me to re-use.

Aldi sells the cloth style bags cheap. Like John, I always have a few in thunk of my car.
 

neil_w

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but it is also worth considering what happens to them afterward. Paper bags, being heavier, don't get caught in the wind and blow away quite as easily and, even if they do, are quite biodegradable. In a year or two, there is little or nothing left. Plastic bags fly away all the time, both from us, accidentally, and in large measures at dumps and landfills where they go when we throw them away. These end up in fence lines, trees, pastures, and waterways. They can cause great harm if ingested by animals (cows will often eat most anything) and it's a huge problem as it goes out to sea.
Quoted for emphasis. Enormous numbers of plastic end up in places we don't want them, and often not for lack of good intentions on the part of those who use them.
 

Oldschool77

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Bag tax? What's that? Not in OK. yet. My Aldi's sells plastic & paper(.10/.05) bags. If I don't have one at the time I'll grab an empty box or flat. I have several plastic bags & have worn a few out. WM & ofther stores bags around here are free w/ purchase. Yes they still bag for me. Cloth & Mylar "Cold bags" are available for purchase & I do own a few cloth ones.

Any WM/local bag w/ holes/tears gets re-cycled along w/ most of my hard plastic(water, soda, detergent-RINSED!, etc). The good ones get used for waste baskets & litter box scoopings, you DON'T want to leave a trail of that stuff! Yep I also re-cycle paper & cardboard, you'd be surprised how much you throw away until you re-cycle.

Aluminum cans are by the lb. at the scrap yd. no each yet. 1, 2 & 3 liter soda bottles-$0 yet.
 

blackjack2564

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Don't know why, but around here recycling won't accept the thin plastic grocery bags.

None will, not even the city that supplies bins for weekly pick-up
 

The_Lone_Beagle

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I don't mind bringing re-usable bags to the store, it makes sense to me. I remember my mom bringing bags to the store when shopping in the early 70's (when I think about it, it was more like net bags, and she'd put the fruit in them).

Somebody mentioned above that there is no problem with plastic bags, "as long as they are recycled," and then another person mentioned that their recycling center didn't take plastic bags. I believe that is the problem...I could never find any place that would take them to be recycled, so I just saved them and used them as dog poop bags.

I had the chance to travel to a undeveloped, third world country, and the countryside was overrun by plastic bags. It looked like a breeze carried every plastic bag to that corner of the world...seeing that, and hearing about all the plastic garbage floating around in the Pacific (like, when they were searching for Malaysian Airlines MH370, and they kept on getting false positive sightings because of all the garbage in the ocean) makes me think that this makes a lot of sense. Voluntary measures just don't seem to be working to stem all the garbage.
 

jrkennedy2

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Regarding those large collection boxes in the front of stores, I wonder how much actually gets recycled and how much gets land-filled? Out here in CO, you have to pay to recycle and trash if they pick it up curb-side. At least I have to... Makes me think if a store has to pay to recycle the bags then it may be cheaper, in the short haul, to dump 'em? When I recycle my bags into those collection areas, I call it "recycling my conscience". I'm trying to do good...
 

CZ Brat

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What's interesting to me, is the disparity between the poll numbers and the posts. Most posters are in favor, but the poll shows a different story. Perhaps the minority is hesitant to openly voice their opinion for fear of being criticized by the majority.
 

AlfaBrewer

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I used to work at a large trash bag manufacturer. We bought tons (literally) of material returned via the big recycling containers like what you see at grocery stores and schools. We had to wash and sort it, but the price was worth it. What I found really ironic was that some places (like California) required a certain percentage of recycled content in the bags, which meant we had to make the bags thicker to maintain performance. That's right, in order to "be green" MORE plastic ended up in the landfill.

Personally, I use re-useable bags most of the time, but stock up on plastic bags (we don't have a bag tax) on occasion. We have cats and a bearded dragon and need small plastic trash bags for clean up.

I see bag taxes like most taxes. Attempting to change behavior by force rather than through education.
 

Hardline

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I see a bag fee as a good thing. It does get the point across. Educating people is great and it works somewhat, but having to pay a fee really gets peoples attention.

Here in Arizona we do not have a bag fee. But if there was one all we would have to do (to avoid the fee) is bring our own bags, which we have done for years anyway.

Wayne and I keep a supply cloth bags of in each vehicle, including insulated bags which we then put into a 12 volt refrigerator in the back of the SUV so that we can actually get our groceries home before they spoil when it is 115 degrees outside.....

Sometimes you still end up with a bag, also invariably it is a plastic bag. We use them for masking for painting, to line small garbage containers, when we had cats the bags were used for cat poo. They don't go to waste in our house.

:2:
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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I'm in favor of what we have here. In my county, grocery stores cannot provide the usual plastic shopping bags at checkout. Customers can bring a bag, or the store can sell you a paper bag for 10 cents, or they can sell you a reusable bag.

I remember when it was first put in place. For the first week, everyone bitched and complained like we had been put under fascist martial law. It's all anyone talked about while standing in line (which actually might have been an improvement in a way over not talking at all and just fiddling with their phones). After about a week, everyone just got over it and got used to bringing reusable bags.

Some of the stores seem to be getting around the intent of the law now by offering to sell you a heavier gauge of plastic bag that is marked "reusable". it's not that much beefier than the old plastic bags you used to get for free, but I guess technically it is reusable (even the old bags were actually reusable to a degree). They are just not very sturdy and probably mostly get thrown away.

Occasionally I forget to bringing my reusable bags, so I have to buy the paper bags. But that actually works out great, because I use the paper bags for collect the "organics" (food scraps, soiled paper, etc.) in my kitchen and haul them out to the green bin. Here your kitchen waste and soiled, compostable paper products can be added to the bin used for yard waste, and it's all collected and composted.

The only thing I miss about the plastic grocery bags is that I used to use them for the trash can liner in the kitchen for stuff actually going into the garbage bin. I never used all the bags that I received and had to recycle them about once a year, but I certainly had enough for the kitchen waste bin under the sink. Now I have to make do with similar bags I end up getting at places like the hardware store, and its not always enough, so sometimes I end up buying some small can liners.

One unintended consequence (a good one) of the bag ban is that stores like Costco never used to bag your stuff for you. They didn't offer bags, so at best they would toss it all in an unsuitable box that they may or may not have for you. Now everyone is used to bringing they own bags, so Costco now will bag your purchases for you in the bags you bring into the store.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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Does anyone live where there is a bag ban ban in place? Apparently some state legislatures have not liked it when a city or county has banned plastic bags, so some states have made it illegal for local governments to do so. They've banned the banning of bags.
 

Hardline

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Arizona passed House Bill 2131 which blocks cities and counties from passing bans on single use plastic bags in March of this year, to take effect August 6th. It is currently being challenged by the city of Bisbee believing the bill violates a charter city's right of regulate itself. Stay tuned......
 

o1d_dude

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I have never liked the plastic walmart/grocery store bags.
They all wind up on a cactus or barbed wire fence in Arizona bearing the names of California retail chains.
 

mkadams001

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It seems that the feeling is that the plastic bags are basically an eyesore drifting about the landscape and catching on fences and bushes and stuff. Not to forget getting tangled up on water creatures. So, here in CA they are trying to ban single use bags all together. Meanwhile, stores will be mandated to charge 10 cents for paper bags. I don't know why. What I wonder is why do they have to charge for the bags? Why not just add the tax to the store when they buy the bags? The cost is still passed on to the consumer. I don't know, I just feel that everywhere I turn I am being hit up for a few cents extra beyond the normal tax. So, I am against being charged for bags
 

YodaMcFly

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I have two major concerns with the reusable bags; one is what, in I.T. at least, we call a training issue: there have been several studies done of reusable-bag users, and they have consistently found that most people that use reusable bags 1) don't keep dedicated bags for contaminators (think "raw meat", any organic produce, etc ...) and non-contaminators, and 2) don't clean the damn things. So, if you're a fan of the reusable bags, at the very least, wash 'em out periodically...

The other issue that I have is, to some, the logical "next step" to forcing retailers to charge for bags. I don't know how far it got, but signature-gatherers here in Southern California were recently circulating a petition (first step in our referendum process, to get a Proposition onto a ballot) that would have forced the shopkeepers to give all proceeds from the "bag charge" back to the state. As a committed capitalist, I have a problem with this ...
 

Woody's Workshop

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I voted don't like it.
I request paper when I shop, and reuse them for many things. When they break down they go to the recycle center. Some go to the landfill but decay much faster than plastic bags.
With plastic bags, they get the 2nd use of smaller trash can liners around the home. They end up in the land fill, but not blowing around.
The plastic bags with holes and rips go to the recycle center.
We also have a couple dozen reusable fabric bags we use on grocery day.
We live in a small rural town, so I don't know how it would fit in a big city.
Economy around here is bad, and it wouldn't go so well.
JMO
 
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