NYC Mayor Does What Dallas Wouldn't: Proposes a Fee on Plastic Bags
A month ago, members of the Dallas City Council, among them Linda Koop, balked at the idea of doing away with retailers' plastic bags -- ain't gonna tax 'em, ain't gonna ban 'em. Not the city's job, said Koop; instead, "We're in the business as a council and as a community about educating people about why they should conserve, why they should recycle, what's better for the environment." Only reason I recycle this old news -- see what I did there? -- is because today's New York Times name-drops Dallas as a city that considered taxing or banning the bag, but ultimately passed. Whereas in NYC, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is now proposing a fee for using the plastic bags: six cents per, with a penny going to the store owner as incentive for sticking to the deal.
Not everyone's happy about it, course: Lotta New Yorkers kvetching about this being one more tax at the wrong goddamned time; and store owners are worried their customers will get all Marty Scorsese on 'em when told to fork over the six pennies. Says one: “They ask us for plastic bags for free as it is. When we say no, they curse us out. They demand a bag for a 25-cent bag of chips.” Perhaps he should try educating his customers about why they should conserve and why they should recycle. That will work.
In other recycling news, the City of Dallas is collecting your big ol' trash -- everything from old TVs and tires to "small kitchen appliances" and your e-waste -- next Saturday at these locations, in exchange for a free movie pass. To what, I have no idea. WALL-E, maybe? --Robert Wilonsky