Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Real Reason Why Politicians Are Coming After Your Plastic Bags

To tax or to ban: that’s the question when it comes to plastic bags in grocery stores.

Here’s my view: we can save both money and the environment. We can do well and do good.

As a longtime retail executive, I believe every businessperson should do everything in his power to minimize costs. At the same time, businesspeople also have a responsibility to do everything we can — even if it’s just a little bit — to preserve and protect our precious surroundings.

To wit: We need both to tax plastic (to reduce its use) and to ban plastic (to reduce threats to our environment).

If that makes sense to you, then clearly you’re not a politician. Instead of using money from plastic proceeds to fund environmental concerns, many municipalities are spending this windfall on unrelated initiatives.

Need to plug a hole in your budget? Use the plastic tax! Would the county clerk’s office benefit from new furniture? Use the plastic tax!

That’s just plain wrong. If government compels us retailers to track and report plastic purchases and sales, then the resulting dues should finance relevant expenses.

What do you think? Am I right or wrong? Sound off in the comments below — I’m eager to hear from you.