Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bag tax revisited


From CBS New York:

It gives new meaning to the four letter word “tote.” New Yorkers will have to shoulder the burden of bringing their own bags to a vast array of supermarkets and department stores — or pay a 10-cent fee for each and every bag — paper or plastic — under sweeping recycling legislation being considered by the city council.

“We could save approximately $10 million a year if we could significantly reduce the amount of plastic shopping bags we use on an annual basis,” Deputy Sanitation Commissioner Ron Gonen said.

Though the $10 million savings means a lot in these tough budget times, the legislation is meant to decrease the burden on landfills and the sanitation system.

Asked to charge consumers the carryout bag fee would be markets and bodegas; street vendors selling fruit, vegetables and general merchandise, and retail stores, including clothing, drug and department stores.

Exempt are restaurants, bags for medication at pharmacies, and liquor stores, Kramer reported.


The exemptions really make no sense. A package of meat bought at a supermarket is likely to leak. A pair of pants purchased at a department store is not.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Boulder has a similar rule and it doesn't apply to the thin plastic bags people put packages of meat or fresh fruits and vegetables in.

https://bouldercolorado.gov/lead/exploring-bag-use-in-boulder

Anonymous said...

It's just another poor tax!

J said...

another tax on the middle class and the working poor.

we have to pay for the reckless negligence of oil companies and plastic manufacturers.

and the blatant favoritism of those exempt.restaurants and pharmacies?they can include mcdonalds and duane reades.

strike this down with a vengeance

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the distupidoblasio years! Thank your fellow new yorkers for the bad choice they made voting or their lack of voting!

Anonymous said...

I'm in favor of charging for plastic bags. Other cities in the U.S. have been doing this for years resulting in dramatic decreases in plastic bag usage. And as far as stores closing down because of fees for plastic bags (as many alarmists claimed would happen), there is no evidence to support this.

This year I feel even more strongly about this issue. The long cold winter seems to have exacerbated the plastic-bags-caught-in-trees problem. I swear I am seeing more than I have ever seen before around the city.

If plastic bags were taxed, yeah, we'd grumble but we'd get used to bringing our own bags or paying a little more.

However, I'd prefer the tax or fee only apply to plastic bags. Paper bags don't tend to fly around and end up in trees for years and will rapidly decompose in a landfill.

Anonymous said...

So the stores cost for a plastic bag is less than one cent, and they get to charge ten cens for each bag. Not a bad deal for the stores.

Anonymous said...

I call Bullshit. More bullshit "Save the Environment tax" if they really cared about environment/ecology they'd BAN plastic, not find a way to make money off it. Great idea let's give the politicians more money to waste. BULLSHIT!

Anonymous said...

This will make it more difficult for people who shop on their way to or from places. Now we'll all have to carry bags all the time!

Anonymous said...

Wanna stop this nonsense??

Simple.

Go into the local supermarket and load up a shopping cart with all sorts of groceries. Go to the checkout line and after all the purchases are rung up tell the cashier that you forgot to bring money and then walk out. Do this enough and the owners of the stores will go ballistic on the local politicians and....voila! no more tax on bags.

Yeah it's tough on the store owners but I haven't heard vociferous complaints from their side of the aisle.

Wanna hear them complain even more? Let the city council pass the law but make the grocery charge a deposit for the bags and then refund the deposit upon returning said plastic bags. Most major groceries have machines for bottle and can returns, let someone come up with a machine for plastic bag returns.

Gee, then they have to have bar codes on the bags so you couldn't return a Key Food bag to Waldbaums.

What a freakin' mess!
Let's elect some more progressives to screw with our everyday lives .

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with this tax. It works well in other big cities, there's no reason we can't do it here. I almost always use a reusable bag. I have canvas totes, nylon totes that fold up into themselves and fit in my pocket, insulated totes for cold items, leather "shoppers" for clothing shopping, even a messenger bag will do for small shopping trips. There is no reason we can't and shouldn't this.

Anonymous said...

It's not about saving $10 million, it's about raising revenue.

10 cents a bag * 10 bags per week * 52 weeks per year * 4 million shoppers = $208 million in new tax revenue.

So the good news folks is that they will save you $10 million per year but it will cost you over $200 million!

Doubt it will save $10 million and my estimate is likely rather low.

Anonymous said...

Will the chinese be exempt so they can keep using their good-luck red plastic bags overstuffed with loose leafy vegetables?

Anonymous said...

Bill de Blasio, late for all meetings and appointments.

Let's hope he is early for leaving office.

Anonymous said...

"I have no problem with this tax"

And you probably support the recycling of foodstuffs. And more bicycle lanes. And increased real estate taxes. And amnesty for illegal aliens. And only organic food in public schools. And increased tolls on all river crossings. And....

And yeah,how about a chorus of Kumbaya.

Anonymous said...

The plastic bags are so damned cheap that the supermarkets should pay us for using them.

How many times have you had one break on the sidewalk or on your front stoop after the cashier stuffed too much into it? Try putting two bottles of soda or a couple jars/cans in the transparent bags they proffer.

And why do restaurants and liquor stores get a break? You know why? Because de Blasio and the rest of the City Council progressive twits are addicted to take out and wine.

Anonymous said...

Keep screwing around with the parts of life that work for people in New York -- that's the connection between charter schools and bags.

Just leave us alone and stop telling us what we can and cannot do.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy "Library Boy" Van Bramer in his best fussy voice on radio this morning thought this was the neatest thing -

Anonymous said...

Why 10 cents and not 5 cents? Who is in on this scandal? Hmmmm

Anonymous said...

Great idea - get rid of all plastic bags - there are millions of them in the trees in Queens and dozens in the pond at Bowne Park. They're disgusting and environmetally unsound!

We might start using all those nice cloth tote bags that live in our cars!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm with crapper - there should be an exception - at least two free bags for wrapping meat and veg.

I bring reusable bags when food shopping. But those meat packages always leak, so I always wrap them in a store plastic bag. The cashiers know this and will put meat into plastic without even asking you half the time.

The thing they're not telling you is that there's at least one factory in East New York that makes these plastic bags (pretty sure there is another one in LIC too) - when plastic bag usage is cut down on, those people are going to be out of jobs. If they want to tax it, some of that money should go towards helping those folks find new jobs.

Anonymous said...

All you have to do to make sure this bill is DOA is have a press conference with members of our vibrant diverse community and have them say it will hurt them economically. Since the city bows to their every need they will not want to piss them off by passing this nonsense.

Anonymous said...

We've got this in LA now. I think it's a good idea, as I remember the pre-disposable plastic bag days, and we got along just fine. Admittedly, it's easier to carry the bags with you if you're in a car, but some of them are pretty compact. As for the folks being put out of work at the factories, I imagine the factories will convert to cranking out some other plastic products, maybe even re-usable bags.

Anonymous said...

This is nonsense. The supermarkets used to have a box where you can recycle your plastic bages. Now, very few supermarkets have one. All stores should be required to have the boxes to recycle the plastic bags.

Anonymous said...

CVS has those boxes, and I think that Rite-Aid does as well.

Anonymous said...

The thing they're not telling you is that there's at least one factory in East New York that makes these plastic bags (pretty sure there is another one in LIC too) - when plastic bag usage is cut down on, those people are going to be out of jobs. If they want to tax it, some of that money should go towards helping those folks find new jobs.

OMG are you kidding me? Liberals are ruining this country, one tax at a time, and it's because of thinking like this.

Joe said...

Ban all the non bio-degradable bags and cups period !!
These things are polluting everywhere and last years in the water. Summers these bags constantly get sucked into people boat motor's.
They are everywhere and stuck & tangled to almost everything in the Long Island Sound. The seagulls pick the garbage barges have them round the neck and wind taking them everyplace.

Anonymous said...

Why would welfare card users be exempt from this law???

Helen Griffin said...

I have been using my own bags since the late 1980's... I occationally save a nice plastic bag and use it again and again (they do fold up really small!)

I have insulated bags, cotton bags (i wash them ever 3 months or so) Non woven fiber bags, (in different sizes and shapes, including one for bottles (it holds 6 bottles of wine in 6 pockets!) If you drive, its easy to store bags in your trunk--if you shop with a granny cart (as i do) its easy to store bags on cart...

So many woman in NYC carry totes anyway--its easy to add a folded up bag, (or if just buying one or two things, to drop them in your tote.

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt the Supermarkets (and smaller stores) will love chargeing ten cents since they do their best to not repay the can and bottle deposits which I consider robbery. How many people report that by the way?

Anonymous said...

"The bags, tissues, paper towels, disposable diapers and menstrual products get stuck in storms drains, they cause flooding and they litter our beaches," said Councilwoman Margaret Chin of Manhattan, one of the co-sponsors of the legislation, according to AP. "And they cost New York City a lot of money."

Anonymous said...

Costa co-sponsored this legislation. If it passes, he should be voted out of office.