Awareness | Debate | Action
The plastic and paper bag law is ostensibly environmental legislation in hopes that a small fee will diminish the environmental impact of single-use merchant bags. It was possible to have the fee go into an environmental fund to help with diminishing the impact, but that was voted down by CA Prop 65. The resulting declining of Prop 65 is essentially saying that we cannot force the merchant to send this newly mandated money the merchant is receiving for their goods, but which they didn't receive for their goods before the law, to go towards something the merchant does not approve. But since it is a law it is essentially a tax and traditionally the government decides where to spend tax. But this is a special law that forces the user to pay for something that was traditionally an expense the merchant footed to support its patrons. It would be difficult to start charging for it after the custom has been established by merchants. Therefore instead of taxing the user or the merchant for what was traditionally the merchant's expense, it has become a subsidy for the merchant. It is a law that tells the grocer they must charge for their goods and they must charge at least 0.10 cents per bag in hopes that this will help the environment. This is ostensibly what individual citizen voters decided was necessary to codify into law.
How has the new law changed your habits and impact on the environment?
Please let us know in the comments below.