Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bloomberg wants to Tax Plastic Bags - Yes!

Finally seasonably cold, cloudy but clear.

What a great idea. Plastic bags are one of those ridiculous modern conveniences that has made a mess of our environment. From processing to their long drawn out end (plastic can be around for a thousand years minimum) they could easily be the worst useless polluter of modern people.

Okay, so New York City Mayor Bloomberg is desperate to raise money for his city and he thinks a 5 cent tax on plastic bags will cough up an easy 16 million, but if it means fewer bags, I'm all for it. Any money initially raised would probably dwindle as it has in other taxed cities but I say take it and run into a cleaner environment.

New Yorkers waste an estimated 1 billion bags annually which is equivalent to about 120,000 barrels of oil. (that's barrels not gallons) Since only 1-5% of the bags get recycled, disposing of them becomes a huge issue. Many unfortunately end up in our oceans, polluting our marine life and killing birds.

While I was recently in Italy, walking along the cliffs of the beautiful western coast, I looked down and my serenity was interrupted by a bag floating in the water. The moment was ruined for me. I wondered who would have let that happen. Why didn't they retrieve it? Is anyone going to get it now? (I couldn't get down to it, I really was on a cliff) How long before a bird pecks away at it? It happened again later on the trail. It made me sad to think that plastic is so apart of every one's world.

Now in Florence, a plastic bag will cost you 30 Euro, about 45 cents. I am not sure if it is a tax or city mandated but either way, my daughter and her friends are sure to bring their cloth bags when they go shopping. And they are none too happy when they forget them.

I won't go into all the plastic bag facts here but they are staggering, try the link if you dare. And because of the facts, I applaud Mayor Bloomberg for wanting to encourage people to reduce their waste of plastic bags, however method he suggests and for whatever reason.

You go Michael!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

thanks for your article! i was checking my google reader and saw your post. it prompted me to email both governor blogo... and mayor daley to suggest they do the same thing!