A bill that would require Maine retailers to charge 10 cents for each plastic bag distributed to customers would eliminate tons of trash now going into landfills, blowing around in streets and clogging storm drains, supporters of the proposal told a legislative panel Tuesday.
Opponents say state law already addresses shopping-bag waste concerns and it would be unwise to impose a new tax during a recession.
The bill before the Natural Resources Committee is one of many similar measures that have surfaced in state capitols and cities across the country.
San Francisco has banned plastic bags outright. A citizen's group in Seattle is challenging that city's 20-cent bag fee and has collected enough signatures to send the matter to voters later this year. Bag fees also have been considered in New York and Boston.
The sponsor of Maine's bill, Democratic Sen. John Nutting of Leeds, said he was amazed to see how many plastic bags went out the door during a recent trip to a supermarket.
I don't want to pollute the environment, but tell that to all the styrofoam coffee-cup users and people refusing to buy gas blended with ethanol!
I know we're all going green with cloth bags to collect groceries and clothes at department stores and so forth, but there are many uses for plastic bags and I think a 10 cent fee is a little much!
You know, like for recyclables, CDs in your car, kitty litter, etc...
Bueller? Anyone? Anyone?