Ireland’s plastic bag tax successful

The New York Times reports that a mere 33-cent tax on plastic shopping bags in Ireland has reduced use by 94%.  Apparently it’s more of a social sanction than an actual financial hardship – using plastic bags has become tacky. I wonder if this holds for all segments of Irish society.

The only faint stirring of this kind of social pressure in the US has been the designer “I’m Not a Plastic Bag” obsession last year. People waited in line for hours to buy this $15 canvas bag by some extremely important bag designer.  The bag in question spawned a bunch of responses, including bag emblazoned with “I’m Not a Plastic Bag, Either” and “I’m Not a Smug Twat.”

Clearly, the New York model is ridiculous, especially since I bet the above bag is SO last season by now. But reusable bags don’t have to be snooty – Trader Joe’s sells perfectly excellent bags for 99 cents. Do you think that the US would ever pass a plastic bag tax? Would lobbying for one cause Americans  to perceive environmentalism as yet more out-of-touch silliness from rich white people?

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3 Responses to Ireland’s plastic bag tax successful

  1. Gila says:

    “I’m not a smug twat”…love it!

  2. Justin says:

    I believe that the US will pass some sort of plastic bag legislation but it will be a long time in coming and when it does, it be will so nitpicked apart by Congress, it will be ineffective. This is based on how slow the US is to follow worldwide environmental trends and also how much Congress sucks, for lack of a better term, right now.

    btw, as a side note, the one thing that pisses me off is baggers in markets will use ONE bag for like 2 or 3 items, sometimes 1! I now shop at Trader Joes where I actually save money on food and use the 99 cent bags.

  3. E. Pike says:

    I use these reusable produce bags. It’s great to have some options other than plastic and these work really well for small shopping trips at least. http://www.remarket.etsy.com

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