Letter to the Editor: Capital Gazette

Dear Editor,

We’re happy to read that Baltimore City Council, Judiciary Committee has delayed action on a plastic bag ban as it weighs a paper bag fee of up to 10 cents per bag as reported here. That means more time for reason to prevail and for a paper bag tax to be removed from consideration once and for all. Here’s why there should be no fee on paper bags:

Consumers should be encouraged to choose recyclable and sustainable paper bags rather than being punished by taxation, a regressive action that burdens hard-working citizens, increases the cost of basic necessities and disproportionately impacts lower-income citizens. Incidentally, the Judiciary Committee removed a provision that would have exempted Baltimore City residents relying on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP); Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and the Food Supplement Program (FSP). Now some of the most vulnerable residents in transition will have to pay for paper bags.  

In choosing paper bags, consumers are making a sustainable, environmentally-friendly choice in a product made from a renewable resource – trees, which capture and store carbon from the atmosphere. Moreover, the paper industry’s recycling success story – 68.1 percent of paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling in 2018 – deserves a chance to expand without the roadblock of a paper bag tax.