If plastic bags are the problem, ban them [Letter]

January 26, 2014

Call it what you like, the proposal to charge 10-cents for plastic bags is a tax on the people of Baltimore ("Shoppers in city may see 10-cent bag fee," Jan 21). As for Councilman Brandon Scott's comment, "This is a good step for us to be a sustainable city moving forward," how are we going to accomplish this by charging 10 cents a bag? If you are serious about this, councilman, then flat out ban the bags.

Oh, wait a minute, if you do that, the city loses $1.5 million, half of which goes into the mysterious "General Fund." Oops, I forgot, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's spokesman, Kevin Harris, stated the mayor would be "agreeable" to splitting the money between the general fund and environmental initiatives, after it goes into the general fund. If the money is not immediately earmarked and placed in a special account, it will disappear in the general fund for some other project of higher priority. That's the way it works.

And Councilman James Kraft, who are the grocers who are "flagrantly violating the law"? Why won't you identify them in print? Have they been fined for non-compliance? I live by the harbor in Canton, and what I see all the time is Styrofoam cups, soda bottles and cans, paper plates, balls etc. Very few plastic bags. I would love to see the study this was based on and the facts that support this legislation. Council president Bernard C. "Jack" Young was right, this is a people problem.

Stas Chrzanowski, Canton

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