Letter: Customers should pay for plastic bags

Letter to the editor

January 22, 2012

As an employee at a grocery store in Montgomery County, I am pleased with the implementation of the new bag tax, a law that initially began in Washington.

I think that it would be beneficial for Baltimore County, as well as other Maryland counties, to study the idea and consider passing an anti-litter tax.

This law would have a positive impact because stores will have to order less bags. Typically, a case of plastic bags costs about $30; paper bags are even more costly.

Furthermore, customers will be more mindful about not wasting bags if they have to pay for each one. They will likewise be encouraged to take their reusable bags back to the store to do their shopping.

Many stores, unlike the government, offer a five cent rebate for each cloth bag that is used for groceries.

Under the tax law, customers are required to pay five cents for each bag, whether they choose paper or plastic.

I spoke to an employee at the Giant at Route 40 and Rolling Road about the new bag tax. She observed that many customers come into the store and steal paper bags without asking.

This is because of the entitlement mentality that permeates our nation.

Oftentimes, management lacks the boldness to confront these customers because service is always a priority and seems to embrace moral relativism.

Someone is paying for the bags that are wasted, stolen or blowing along the parking lot.

If customers had to pay even the nominal price of five cents for each bag (plastic bags are worth about eight cents each), they would be less inclined to waste them. There will be less requests for "paper in plastic."

Five cents never pushed anyone into poverty. The tax is slight but it serves as an incentive for people to act in a more responsibly regarding the ecology.

Matthew Pasalic

Catonsville

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