Plastic Bags at Sea

Danny Westneat at the Seattle Times writes that plastic bags are a tiny fraction of sea trash.

Although the mayor’s press release on the proposed plastic bag fees notes that plastic bags are particularly harmful to marine life as compared with paper bags, the big push is because the bags take up 4% of our landfill.

In other words, Westneat is building up a nice straw man and then knocking it down. It seems like the Seattle Times really doesn’t like the proposed fees. They’ve charged the fees will hurt the poor, and now this. It won’t hurt the poor. The city will be giving out free re-usable bags. The charge will get people to change their behavior. Because of that, they will not be paying this fee enough to hurt them. People respond to economic incentives. This is a conservative way to address a problem. It uses the market and the laws of supply and demand to achieve a needed end.

So get smarter, Seattle Times.