More than 150 communities across the U.S. have placed a fee or ban on single-use plastic bags. Many have also placed a fee on paper bags. On April 15, 2015, Portland (ME) passed a 5-cent fee on single-use bags, with the retailer keeping the fee. A second ordinance prohibits retailers–including restaurants, stores and take-out vendors–from selling food or beverages in polystyrene foam (i.e. Styrofoam) containers.
Our proposal is to similar to Portland’s
We propose to apply a five-cent fee on single-use plastic and paper bags at checkout and to ban Styrofoam food and beverage containers. This ordinance would apply evenly to all retailers. We believe this is a fair approach, with the highest likelihood of having a positive impact on the environment.
Experience of other communities
A comprehensive study of Washington D.C.’s 5-cent fee a year after it was enacted was very encouraging. It showed that:
- Four out of five residents (80%) are carrying reusable bags with them when they shop; 58% are carrying them “always” or “most of the time”
- Two-thirds of residents (67%) are seeing fewer littered plastic bags compared to 3-4 years ago
- Substantial majorities of both residents and business owners and managers support the bag fee personally, with 53% of residents and 63% of businesses supporting the law outright
- Only 16% of residents and 8% of businesses said they were bothered by the law, while the rest (29%) said they had no feelings either way
- Fifty percent of businesses reported that they were saving money as a result of this law