The Bag Tax is Coming

Back in November, when word first got out that Mayor Bloomberg would be proposing a tax on plastic grocery bags, we wondered if the city would realize
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Back in November, when word first got out that Mayor Bloomberg would be proposing a tax on plastic grocery bags, we wondered if the city would realize
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Back in November, when word first got out that Mayor Bloomberg would be proposing a tax on plastic grocery bags, we wondered if the city would realize it might be worth it to stick it to retailers, too. And yes, it did - The plastic bag tax, which was officially proposed last week, will cover plastic bags of any kind - even at restaurants and department stores like Macy's - which will cost shoppers five cents per bag unless they're armed with their own stash of totes (or, presumably, plastic bags they've saved from prior trips). So, if you want to step into H&M for some unplanned shopping after work, you'll have to be ready unless you want to pay up (obviously this is easier if you drive everywhere, but city dwellers might find the idea of having to have a bag with you wherever you go pretty annoying). But we're wondering - Is a charge of five cents really revolutionary? Would you really say to yourself, "Oh man, a nickel? Let me go back five blocks to my apartment and get my tote from its spot on the door handle - This trip could cost me fifteen cents total!" Do you think Mayor Bloomberg's bag tax will really stop people from using plastic bags? Or will the tax just raise tons of money for the city, without any real environmental effects? Or, in a dramatic plot twist, will retailers simply offer shoppers paper bags instead, rendering the Mayor's money-raising effort useless?