Burnett: Plastic Bag Bans Hurt Shoppers, Retailers and Workers
by H. Sterling Burnett
January 19, 2012
A small but increasing number of cities are in a frenzy to ban plastic shopping bags. More than two dozen cities nationwide have either banned plastic grocery bags (and in some cases, paper bags) entirely, or have imposed a fee for using them in order to encourage the use of reusable bags. However, such policies have hidden costs few seem to recognize.
Anecdotal evidence indicates that cities with bag bans have lost commerce, while surrounding cities and neighborhoods benefit as shoppers choose to go elsewhere.
This is consumer choice – most people prefer the plastic bag option for their convenience, flexibility, strength and other obvious reasons.