Tag Archives: plastic bag ban

Brookline, MA plastic bag ban

I used to write a lot about plastic bag bans around the world, but at some point, I missed a few and, well, I don't write about them as much. Here's a list of cities that have banned plastic bags. It may or may not be accurate, because New York City is on the list and I don't think they've banned plastic bags.

In any case, Brookline, Massachusetts just banned styrofoam containers and followed that up with a plastic bag ban the next day.

The law will affect supermarkets that have had more than $1 million in gross sales during the previous tax year. Retail pharmacies with at least two locations in Brookline under the same ownership also can’t use the bags, and retail stores with more than 2,500 square feet, or establishments with at least three locations that total more than 2,500 square feet of space in Brookline also can’t use the bags.

Small Charges Lead To Big Results

"When it goes from zero to even a very small charge, it can feel very bad," said Dan Ariely, an economics professor at Duke University. "It creates a very small financial burden but a very big emotional reaction."

That quote from an interesting article in The New Republic that talks about the success of the Washington, DC plastic bag tax. On 1/1, stores began charging shoppers a tax of a nickle per plastic bag and bag use has gone down 50%. The article then makes the connection to a carbon tax and how even a tiny fee is better than no fee because of reason Ariely states above.

The article also mentions a failed $0.20 bag tax in Seattle that potentially reached too high. Nickle bag tax for everyone!