America's green bag revolution may have some unintended consequences


By —— Bio and Archives February 10, 2011

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Big-government bureaucrats are already facing an uphill battle trying to convince cost-conscious consumers to give up their plastic bags or pay extra taxes. Now two studies reveal why America’s green bag revolution may have some unintended consequences.

We recently exposed how one of the trendiest green "solutions" might actually trade one environmental threat for another. Our research showed that eco-chic reusable bags often contain excessive amounts of lead, which can be toxic to the environment (and to your family).

And last week the watchdog group Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) published a report showing that Washington, DC's bag tax is on track to hurt the local economy, kill jobs, and punch consumers in the wallet. Here's ATR:

"We already knew that bag taxes are an annoying levy that provide no environmental benefit; now we also know that they are an economically destructive job killer thanks to this new report. Unfortunately it is also D.C.'s poorest communities that are hit hardest by the bag tax. Councilman Tommy Wells and other bag tax proponents seem to be unfamiliar with the law of unintended consequences. In D.C.'s case, the bag tax has siphoned millions from the productive economy and thrown it into the black hole that is the D.C. government bureaucracy."

Commonly promoted by major retailers and eco-activists as a "sustainable alternative" to plastic bags, the reusable bags in CCF's study prompted Norfolk, VA's WVEC News to launch its own investigation, which verified our findings:

"Anything that we know for a fact introduces a hazard especially to a child's environment we really should avoid it," said Colleen Becker, an industrial hygienist at Marine Chemist Service, Inc. in Newport News.

Environmental health science professor Dr. Anna Jeng at Old Dominion University says that if reusable bags with high amounts of lead aren't disposed of properly, they can be toxic to the environment. "It will eventually leak from the bag and into the groundwater."

Read more about CCF's reusable bag study on our website.



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