A Case for the Repeal of Bag Bans

English: , San Diego, California
English: San Diego, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Efforts to reduce the use of plastic grocery bags began in California with a voluntary program that encouraged shoppers to use reusable bags for bringing their groceries home. While a few shoppers complied with the program, most shoppers did not and continued to use plastic grocery bags. Bag Banners were not satisfied with these results and blamed shoppers for being “resistant to change”. They were not happy that shoppers were able to make their own choice about what kind of shopping bag to use.

Bag Banners, instead of recognizing that shoppers rejected using reusable bags and that a different solution was required, doubled down and embarked on mandatory programs to ban plastic bags. These mandatory programs not only banned plastic bags but a placed a fee on paper bags in order to coerce shoppers to use reusable bags.

Bag Banners began to push the state legislature and local jurisdictions to ban plastic carryout bags and impose a mandatory minimum fee on paper bags. Many local jurisdictions passed mandatory plastic bag ban programs most of which banned plastic bags from grocery and convenience stores only; thereby only reducing the quantity of plastic carryout bags in circulation. Eventually, in 2014 a statewide mandatory program was passed and signed into law.

While bag banners view consumers as “resistant to change” the exact opposite is true. Consumers are smart and do what is best in their own self-interest. Consumers, instead of being offered an alternative product to carry groceries home that is as economical, efficient, and convenient were offered an inconvenient, inefficient, and costly alternative of using reusable bags. Clearly, the meager acceptance by consumers shows that reusable bags are not a winner!

Bag Banners only superficially analyzed the problem with plastic bags and saddled consumers with an inconvenient, inefficient, and costly method to carry groceries home.  To read the article click on the following link: A Case For The Repeal of Bag Bans.

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