Bag Fee Nonsense

Aug 26, 2014 | Economy, Government & Policy

Published on: Aug 26, 2014

The City Council, after a tortured, convoluted discussion last week, passed an ordinance mandating that you charge your customers for plastic bags.

It is an example of bad policy and horrible governance.

The stated reason for this heavy-handed policy is that plastic bags are bad for the environment. Specifically, we’re told that our precious landfill space is being filled up with disposable bags. But stop and think about that for a minute. How much space does a wadded up plastic grocery bag really take? I’m guessing the millions of grocery bags in question could be actually be compressed into the modest 2,350 cubic foot office I’m now sitting in. For a multi-use product that provides so much convenience to consumers that is a pretty small price to pay.

No, the real reason you will need to charge your customers 5 cents for a plastic bag starting next April is social engineering. We’re the lab rats in a social conditioning exercise. Lest you think I’m off my nut and going anti-government conspiracy theorist on you, a City official actually admitted this before the Economic Advisory Commission earlier this month. In essence she said, if we can get you to do this, we can get you to do other things.

Got that? Local government is imposing itself between you and your customer to get the citizenry learned-up proper for the next thing they’re scheming up in the bowels of city hall.

Compounding bad policy was a bad decision-making process. The ordinance that Council adopted was not vetted and discussed by the public, as the Coloradoan’s Erin Stephenson explains here. She calls it a ‘bait and switch.’

To learn more about the ordinance, go here.

The people voting for this legislation were Bob Overbeck, Lisa Poppaw, Gino Campana, Ross Cunniff, and Gerry Horak.

It’s hard to say which is more irritating: the unnecessary law or the way in which it was imposed.