Will Taxing Plastic Bags Save The Environment? Daylin Leach Hopes So.

State Sen. Daylin Leach has introduced legislation that would charge a two-cent tax on every plastic bag distributed by grocery stores and other retail establishments. Conceivably, the tax could add up to 10 cents to your grocery bill bottom line, and gosh, nobody better tell the Tea Partiers.

“Plastic shopping bags represent a disconnect in our consumer culture,” Leach said. “They are used for mere minutes, but can take a thousand years to degrade. They clutter our urban areas, contaminate our waterways, and kill more than one million birds and marine mammals each year.” Leach said.

“Two cents is a small price to pay for a cleaner, more vibrant planet,” Leach said. “However, our goal is not to collect the fee, but to encourage shoppers to make sustainable choices at the checkout counter.”

In fact, the two cents would be split—one penny would go back to the commonwealth, while the store collecting the tax would keep the other penny, to be used toward improving its own recycling processes.

The Inquirer reports that the typical family uses up to 60 bags in four trips to the grocery store. So let’s redo the math—Leach’s bill would add an average of 30 cents to the average grocery bill. Revolutions have been fought over less!* (*Note: Revolutions haven’t been fought over less.)

Kevin Shrivers, executive director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses of Pennsylvania, called Leach’s proposal a “tax scheme” that would hurt average families and benefit only makers of reusable cloth bags – many of them foreign.

“It’s a tax on the consumer,” Shrivers said. “Leach’s assumption is that the plastic bags are used one time and thrown away, but people use those bags over and over.”

Well, clearly Leach is just a tool of the Big Foreign Cloth Bag lobby. Why does he hate America so?