House Bill Seeks Bag Tax to Combat Pollution

Ian P. Murphy |

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) introduced a bill last month that seeks to cut pollution by placing a 5-cent tax on single-use plastic bags from drycleaners, grocery stores and other retailers.
“Our environment is literally choking on plastic bags,” Moran said in a statement, noting that oceans and rivers are clogged with plastic wastes. “Equally disturbing, as these plastics break down, toxic chemicals are being released into the environment.”
Dubbed the Plastic Bag Reduction Act of 2009, the bill would levy a 5-cent fee on single-use plastic bags to cut water pollution and garbage in landfills. Under the bill’s provisions, the tax would begin at 5 cents per bag on Jan. 1, 2010, and increase 5 cents per year to 25 cents per bag on Jan. 1, 2015.
The legislation would apply to most plastic bags, including drycleaning poly bags, grocery bags, retailers’ bags and more. Revenues would fund tax credits to retailers involved with the program, the federal government’s Land & Water Conservation Fund, state and local environmental programs, and repayment of the national debt.
Several countries worldwide have imposed similar plastic-bag taxes or banned the use of plastic bags entirely. In the U.S., San Francisco banned the use of plastic bags in 2007.
 

About the author

Ian P. Murphy

Freelance Writer

Ian P. Murphy is a freelance writer based in Chicago, and was the editor of American Drycleaner from 1999 to 2011.

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