The Heap


plasticbag_narrowweb__300×4480.jpgBack when the economy was booming, San Francisco and several other U.S. cities were confident they could ban, tax or require the recycling of plastic shopping bags, considered a blight on the environment and a waste of resources.

But according to the New York Times, the deepening recession has caused most of those efforts to stall.

Momentum for imposing fees or bans has expanded from a few, often affluent, liberal cities on the West Coast — San Francisco was the first big city to ban plastic bags, in 2007 — to dozens of legislative proposals in states like Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Texas and Virginia.

Yet as support increased in places, the national economy began to decline. No state has imposed a fee or a ban.

Some officials say they fear a public backlash if they were to raise fees in an economic downturn; others say governments need the revenue now more than ever. Still others say a cleaner environment, not revenue, is their only goal.

Do you think these bans and fees should be implemented regardless of the economic climate? Will they be successful?