Don’t Give Government Credit for Dumping Plastic Bags

Published January 13, 2010

 The proposal to tax and then subsequently ban plastic bags in Florida grocery stores is yet another unnecessary interference into the private choices of individuals and businesses (Jan. 6, “Editorial: Instead of banning disposable plastic bags, Florida — and Floridians — should learn to use this resource responsibly”). The fact is many individuals and businesses, such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, already are choosing to not use plastic bags, without a government ban.

As usual, government has taken up the role of Johnny-come-lately on this issue. First, it will tax plastic bags to bring in more revenue to fill its coffers. Then once the revenue stream dries up, government will implement an outright ban and take credit for something already happening.

The waning use of plastic bags already is occurring. It would be wrong to give those in the Legislature the pleasure of taking and spending more taxpayer money as well as an unwarranted sense of accomplishment for this market-driven trend.

John Nothdurft
legislative specialist
The Heartland Institute

This letter to the editor was originally published in TC Palm.