Thursday, March 14, 2019

EXTRA: It’s only 7 cents!

Considering how irate some people got over when Cook County government imposed a penny-per-ounce tax on the price of a bottle of pop, perhaps it shouldn’t be a shock that some people are getting outraged over the possible fee to be charged for plastic bags.
Will this bag cost 5 cents outside of Chicago

It’s already been done in Chicago. The city charges such a tax on each bag used by a shopper – to the point where many people buying anything within the city limits go out of their way to refuse to use the bags.

MEANING THEY’RE NOT paying the tax, but also aren’t using as many plastic bags – which are a serious problem when it comes to trash disposal and recycling.

For what it’s worth, Illinois state government now wants to impose a similar fee. Which means most likely that people in rural places are getting all upset – mostly because they didn’t think of this idea first.

Meaning they’re not collecting the money that does get raised from such a tax.

Now as Gov. J.B. Pritzker puts it, he sees the state tax as a 5 cent fee per bag, with people being given the choice of whether or not they want to buy the bags. Meaning they could avoid paying the fee altogether if they bring their own canvas totes, or some other form of reusable shopping bag.
Trying to reduce these landfills is the point of the tax
PRITZKER ALSO SAYS the state tax would not apply to purchases in Chicago or any other municipality that has its own bag fee. Meaning places such as Evanston or Oak Park – suburbs that like to think they have a progressive character about them that makes life superior within their boundaries.

Which also means that many people are going to diss such a tax as some sort of elitist concept. The Age of Trump type of people probably will claim they’re fighting some holy crusade by refusing to plop down a few pennies for their bags.
Ironic what I do with plastic bags from high-end stores

Although after seeing how such a tax works in Chicago, it seems to me that the kind of people who don’t want to pay it manage to find ways to get out of it. Mostly by carrying their small purchases out of the store in their hands.

Or by becoming the kinds of people who take a tote bag or two with them when they go shopping!

OR YOU COULD be just like myself and decide that 7 cents is a petty fee to pay for the convenience of a bag.

Which I’ll admit sometimes gets me an astounded look from cashiers who have gotten used to people going out of their way to refuse the bags altogether!

Because I’ll admit that I have no problem taking the bags home and finding uses for them. As in I’m recycling them in ways meant to reduce the amount of non-degradable waste that winds up in landfills.

Although I must also admit that many of those bags do wind up getting put to a particular use – as in I keep a few of them in my pockets whenever I take the dogs, Rocco and Carmelo, out for a morning walk around the neighborhood.

THE DOGS ARE well-trained in that they know to “hold it in” and not make a mess while inside the house. They wait for their walk, and in fact the dogs have actually developed a ritual where we walk to a particular front yard where they seem to particularly feel comfortable depositing their “poop.”
Carmelo (left) and Rocco help me with plastic bag re-use
Which causes me to slip a plastic bag onto my hand as a crude glove – and use it to pick up the mess and deposit it into another bag. With all the bags then winding up in the trash outside and hauled away when trash pickup takes place each week.

Maybe it means I’m creating many dozens of doggy-poop missives that will wind up in area landfills. Or it could mean my 7 cent purchases are helping to ensure I’m in total compliance with municipal ordinances concerning the cleanup after one’s own dog.

Which is something I take seriously, because there’s nothing I find more disgusting than someone who thinks they can leave their dog’s poop just lying around. Something I find more disgusting than paying 7 cents for whenever I buy something at Walgreen’s.


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