The Montgomery County bag tax is less than eco-chic, according to our readers.
Of the 79 users who responded to our extraordinarily unscientific poll, 53 felt the tax was more of an eco-fail.
“I don't mind paying taxes for the services we receive, but this nuisance tax should be repealed,” Woodside Park Bob posted in the comments of our story “County Schedules Webinars Dedicated To Bag Law.”
A Facebook page dedicated to killing bag taxes nationwide has made multiple posts about the Montgomery County tax, with many commenters calling for a repeal of the vote.
However, Montgomery County residents have not quite reached the stage of calling for a repeal of the new law, though in Seattle, a city continuously ranked as among the “greenest” in the nation, a similar bag tax was finally rejected by 58 percent of resident voters.
“To our knowledge, we have not received any requests from either residents or retailers to repeal the law,” said Esther Bowring, a public information officer with Montgomery County.
The main concerns the county have heard include problems with setting out recyclable paper in paper bags when the bags are no longer free and the question of simply banning plastic altogether, according to Bowring.
“Most people are aware of the benefits of using reusable bags instead of disposable bags,” Bowring said, adding that “currently, Target, Giant and many major retailers voluntarily offer a credit to customers who already bring their own bags to the checkout counter, further raising awareness about the issue and rewarding shoppers.”
But the issue with our readers is not so much a lack of knowledge about the positives of using reusable bags, but a concern for the county’s method of seemingly punishing shoppers for using the bags rather than rewarding them for not.
“Why not continue encouraging the purchase and usage of [reusable bags] by making them accessible at a reasonable cost to county residents,” suggested Michele Driscoll on the Potomac Patch Facebook page.
“Encourage or enforce?” Driscoll said.