• lots of dogs - rec
    • woman shopping - rec

    A bag tax is a tax on pet owners and the elderly

    Bag taxes and bag bans transfer millions of dollars from America’s families to special interests that support these laws. But some groups bear even more of the brunt of these laws.

    Among those harmed the most are dog owners. More than 40 million American households include at least one dog. And millions of those dog owners reuse the plastic bags they receive while shopping to clean up after their pets. The need to clean up dog poop does not disappear once politicians tax or ban plastic bags – it simply increases the cost of being a pet owner.

    Is it likely to increase the frequency of dog droppings not being cleaned up? It’s a fair question, and one no parent will be thrilled to contemplate, given how often children manage to step in doggie doo-doo while playing at the park.

    Lightweight, plastic handle bags are also popular with older Americans, because they are so easy to carry, even for those with arthritis and other health issues. Many senior citizens specifically ask that their groceries be divided among several plastic bags, to lighten the carrying load of each trip when they return home.

    Of course, consumers routinely reuse these plastic bags for a variety of purposes, including to contain used diapers, and in lining the trash bins inside their home to improve their cleanliness. It’s no surprise then that after Ireland imposed a tax on these bags, the country’s leading food retailer reported a 77% increase in the sale of wastebasket liners. An Irish plastic bag manufacturer, meanwhile, reported a 300% to 400% increase in demand for its products after the tax law took effect.

    So they put a new tax on families that particularly harms dog owners and older Americans, and those people turn around and buy plastic bags to replace the ones they used to receive for free. This improves the environment how?