The sales director of an Elkridge business recently submitted a letter to MarylandReporter.com decrying the proposed state-wide grocery bag fee.
Bill Ebeck, director of sales for , - a company on San Tomas Road that manufactures plastic bags - calls the proposed legislation "harmful and regressive."
The Community Cleanup and Greening Act of 2013 would require certain stores to charge five cents for each disposable carry out bag it gives to a customer.
Proponents say that the fee will encourage the use of reusable bags, keeping the plastic bags out of the waste stream, the water and off the ground.
But Ebeck said the bag fee is not just bad for business, it will “harm consumers, jobs and the environment,” the environment which the legislation is aimed at protecting.
Ebeck argues in his letter that because, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, plastic bags make up less than half a percent of solid waste coming from the United States, a tax aimed at limiting their use would “do little to help the environment.”
He also argues that the use of reusable bags has led to an increase in theft in stores:
The Chamber of Commerce of Victor Valley in California recently advised businesses that thieves often rely on reusable bags to steal merchandise. Out in Seattle, grocery stores have also suffered due to a spike in thefts. One store even blamed the city’s plastic bag ban for thousands of dollars in losses. Closer to home, in Washington, D.C., a Safeway supermarket representative noted that there has been a rise in shoplifting since the bag fee started.
In April of 2011, said the bag legislation would put 140 jobs on the line.
Referring to the Community Cleanup and Greening Act of 2013, he said in an article in PR Newswire: “Instead of a tax, we support promoting bag recycling – an approach that creates jobs and preserves consumer freedom and convenience.”
What do you think? Is the bag tax a harmful, regressive money grab or a step in the right direction when it comes to stewardship?