House Democrats have introduced legislation that would impose a 10-cent tax on plastic bags nationwide.
Rep. Alan S. Lowenthal, California Democrat, introduced the Trash Reduction Act of 2015 on Thursday in an effort to “dramatically reduce plastic trash nationwide,” according to a press release. He said he hopes the plastic bag models in California and the District of Columbia can be expanded nationwide.
“I’m proud of the fact that cities in my District and throughout California have led the way on dealing with plastic bag pollution, but it is time for us to take action at a national level,” Mr. Lowenthal said in a statement. “Plastic pollution is one of the most visible environmental impacts of our consumer age. All Americans can reap the same benefits that California has: less plastic pollution and a higher quality of life.”
The press release claims that the best solution to excessive plastic bag trash is to place a nominal fee on single-use carryout bags.
“The Congressman’s bill would keep thousands of tons of plastic pollution out of our water, land, and landfills each year,” the release states.
The bill would place a minimum 10-cent fee on each bag provided by retailers, allowing retailers to retain 4 cents per bag if they have a qualifying recycling program. Funds raised by the fee would be transferred to support projects by the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Washington Examiner reported.
“Americans for the most part all agree that a clean environment is better for us as individuals and better not just for our children, but for all future generations. Being sustainable today is an investment in a cleaner and healthier tomorrow,” Mr. Lowenthal said in his statement.
Democratic co-sponsors of the bill are Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr. of Virginia, Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, and Reps. Sam Farr, Michael M. Honda, Barbara Lee, and Ted Lieu of California.