D.C. government has “trouble legislating its way out of a plastic bag”

by Walter Olson on January 26, 2010

Among the consequences of the District of Columbia’s ordinance meant to encourage recycling: a bookstore stops selling mints at the checkout counter to avoid being defined as a food store. [WSJ via Hodak Value] More: Washington Post on consumer reactions, via Katherine Mangu-Ward, Reason “Hit and Run”.

{ 3 comments }

1 Frank 01.26.10 at 10:45 am

Doesn’t seem that unreasonable to me.

As for the put-upon owner of “Chocolate Moose”, it might have been easier to convince authorities that she was not a candy store if her store was not named as it is. Seing her sign, I would assume (correctly in fact) that I could purchase retail choccies.

2 gitarcarver 01.26.10 at 3:08 pm

Doesn’t seem that unreasonable to me.

My local Ace Hardware sells bottled drinks and a selection of about 3 candy bars. I guess that makes them both a bar and a grocery store.

But even beyond that is the ridiculous idea that charging for a bag is good for the “environment.” It is just another tax that is costing the taxpayers a great deal of money to implement and enforce.

3 A.W. 01.26.10 at 3:28 pm

the real problem here is the discriminatin. why should grocery bags be singled out anyway. of course i am against taxes and environmentalism anyway, but what is causing absurd behavior here is the discrimination between grocery and non-grocery stores.

Of course i hate all taxes, and being a nothern virginian, i can say that back when i worked in DC i made it a point to buy almost nothing in DC itself if only to avoid their high sales taxes. now today i work for a company that has DC branches and i continually see the cost on my business of those taxes. my regular joke is that they run DC as though they have no idea that all you have to do is drive 10 miles in any direction, and you are out from under their control and taxes. and i can say from personal experience that their overregulation is an industry killer.

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