Coming soon to a grocery store near you

If you're like me, you shop at 2 or 3 grocery stores in order to get the best prices on meat, soda, produce, and other items. As a result, you usually end up with a dozen or more plastic bags (the discount store we patronize requires that you bring your own boxes to pack groceries).

We find many uses for those bags. Having 3 cats means a lot of litter box scooping. They make excellent totes for all sorts of stuff. In short, "waste not, want not" is a good adage to live by.

Except now in Washington, D.C., you are going to have to pay a nickel for the privilege of having your groceries packed in plastic bags. This is one of those bad ideas that will spread across the country like wildfire and make our lives just a little more inconvenient while not affecting the environment one iota.

Jillian Melchior writing in Commentary:

A nickel might not seem like much. But anyone who has lived recently in Hong Kong and experienced their 6-cent bag tax knows how burdensome that levy makes commerce. There, grocery-store clerks must cram as much as possible into a single, side-split reusable bag - or face a perturbed customer. (Never underestimate the public's desire to save a buck.) Milk, butter, and eggs become Tetris blocks; and consequently, the checkout lines grow longer and longer as clerks painstakingly pack for maximum space efficiency.But that is not all. Customers once re-used their grocery bags to dispose of trash; now, in Hong Kong, they buy trash bags. This suggests the tax is not effective in reducing bag consumption; it certainly doesn't encourage conservation of resources. But it does, evidently, cause delay and hassle for everyone.

The nice thing about living in Washington is that voters choose all of their city-council members, unlike Hong Kongers. Next time they're voting, the harried shoppers of D.C. might remember this lesson in the unintended consequences of government meddling.

Good luck getting home from the store without your eggs being scrambled and your peaches churned into mush.

Yes, it's true that plastic bags in landfills are the bane of civilization. But all this new regulation will do is make shopping a more horrid experience than it already is. People are not going to receive significantly fewer bags - at least not enough to make much of a difference at your local waste disposal facility.

I actually prefer paper bags myself and for a while, I would bring my own bags to the store and reuse them. Then they started to charge 3 cents a paper bag - even if you brought in your own. Needless to say, I reluctantly went back to plastic, although I would pack my own groceries since the high school kids stores hire to perform that task are usually uncaring louts.

Perhaps soon, we will be carrying our groceries home in wicker baskets, or maybe in wheelbarrows. I wouldn't put it past those bureaucrats who have a 19th century mentality when it comes to commerce.

 

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky



If you're like me, you shop at 2 or 3 grocery stores in order to get the best prices on meat, soda, produce, and other items. As a result, you usually end up with a dozen or more plastic bags (the discount store we patronize requires that you bring your own boxes to pack groceries).

We find many uses for those bags. Having 3 cats means a lot of litter box scooping. They make excellent totes for all sorts of stuff. In short, "waste not, want not" is a good adage to live by.

Except now in Washington, D.C., you are going to have to pay a nickel for the privilege of having your groceries packed in plastic bags. This is one of those bad ideas that will spread across the country like wildfire and make our lives just a little more inconvenient while not affecting the environment one iota.

Jillian Melchior writing in Commentary:

A nickel might not seem like much. But anyone who has lived recently in Hong Kong and experienced their 6-cent bag tax knows how burdensome that levy makes commerce. There, grocery-store clerks must cram as much as possible into a single, side-split reusable bag - or face a perturbed customer. (Never underestimate the public's desire to save a buck.) Milk, butter, and eggs become Tetris blocks; and consequently, the checkout lines grow longer and longer as clerks painstakingly pack for maximum space efficiency.

But that is not all. Customers once re-used their grocery bags to dispose of trash; now, in Hong Kong, they buy trash bags. This suggests the tax is not effective in reducing bag consumption; it certainly doesn't encourage conservation of resources. But it does, evidently, cause delay and hassle for everyone.

The nice thing about living in Washington is that voters choose all of their city-council members, unlike Hong Kongers. Next time they're voting, the harried shoppers of D.C. might remember this lesson in the unintended consequences of government meddling.

Good luck getting home from the store without your eggs being scrambled and your peaches churned into mush.

Yes, it's true that plastic bags in landfills are the bane of civilization. But all this new regulation will do is make shopping a more horrid experience than it already is. People are not going to receive significantly fewer bags - at least not enough to make much of a difference at your local waste disposal facility.

I actually prefer paper bags myself and for a while, I would bring my own bags to the store and reuse them. Then they started to charge 3 cents a paper bag - even if you brought in your own. Needless to say, I reluctantly went back to plastic, although I would pack my own groceries since the high school kids stores hire to perform that task are usually uncaring louts.

Perhaps soon, we will be carrying our groceries home in wicker baskets, or maybe in wheelbarrows. I wouldn't put it past those bureaucrats who have a 19th century mentality when it comes to commerce.

 

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky



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