The Massachusetts Senate has overwhelming endorsed a budget rider banning single-use plastic bags at many supermarkets and stores in the Bay State.  The vote was 29-9.

The State House News Service says the proposal would ban the use of plastic bags at stores with gross square footage of 3,000 or more or chains with three or more locations.  Bags would need to be reusable or made of recycled paper and sold for at least 10 cents apiece. The paper bags would be subject to the state's 6.25 percent sales tax and Massachusetts Retailers Association President Jon Hurst tells the News Service that amounts to a "tax on a tax." You could opt to bring your own bags.

Supporters say the plastic bags are used for only a short period of time and often wind up as litter or a threat to the environment.

Should it survive the budget process and be signed by Governor Charlie Baker the ban on plastic bag use would go into effect in August of 2018.

While ridding the world of plastic shopping bags is not necessarily a bad thing, perhaps a voluntary or incentive approach might be a better approach.  Many stores have already begun offering their customers the "paper or plastic" option once more and some are even offering cardboard boxes.

Massachusetts is already one of the most expensive places to do business and continuing to add mandates makes it all the more difficult.




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