Pennsylvania Lawmaker Wants To Tax Plastic Bags

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A state lawmaker wants to tax plastic bags.

Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach’s, D-Montgomery/Delaware, proposed legislation SB 590 that would place a 2-cent tax on plastic bags provided to consumers by retailers.

If passed, the tax will likely drive Pennsylvania consumers to purchase cheap, fabric-like reusable bags. But for some shoppers plastic is a greener choice for them.

“We use for our pets to clean up after our pets, so we actually are recycling them and giving a second use after we take them home from the store,” Lorie Berrick, from Green Tree, said.

Still, state lawmakers believe this bag tax will have a positive impact on the environment. But will it give Pennsylvanians an incentive to make the more environmentally-conscious choice?

“No, They’re gonna deal with it same way the dealt with the drink tax,” Liam Macik, of Dormont, said. “People are gonna use the plastic bags its just the way that’s gonna happen.”

State Sen. Jim Ferlo is also supporting this bill, but he has not yet returned KDKA-TV’s calls. This bill has now been referred to the finance committee. So far, no hearings have been set.

  • Terik Ororke

    I think that it is time that we take away the great pension plan of state lawmakers and all the other stuff they get for free. I guessw we can carry wet items like milk in paper sacks? Why don’t they just reduce the state spending instead of finding new taxes for the citizens? this guy needs to be thrown out–is he a Democrat?

    • Roxanne

      great idea!!!!

      • judy

        stupid idea

    • baboo

      Leach is a enviromental-nazi Democrat…he won’t be happy until we’re all living in wigwams and eating soy hot dogs.

    • Tammie

      Of course he’s a Democrat!!!

  • Shockly

    Unbelievable, just finish it and tax the air.

    • Roxanne

      They just might do that next to fund all there pension!!!!

      • Hoss

        “Their” not “there.” Please. Sheesh!

    • Air Tax

      The air is taxed,look at your inspection sticker

  • Joan

    This is unbelievable! Time to move out of PA! Taxed to Death! And yes, it has to be a Democrat!



  • Ryan

    And they want us to use reuseable bags that contain lead and bacteria! Nice job, genius! Why did this dope get elected?


    ok so let’s tax the bags and see how many people put an effort into recycling them when we are paying for them!!! Those big recycling bins for bags will be a waste of money. If I’m gonna pay for the bags I’m certainly not going to just give them back! How about we take away the Government cars and all the other luxury items you damn politicians get to use on our tax money.

  • Jamie

    I think this is a great idea! The state really does need to step up it’s recycling programs. I used to live in PA, but now reside in Australia. Most stores here do it willingly (they charge 10 cents extra per plastic bag) and it works! Everyone uses fabric bags! Easy alternative for the people who are against paying the tax.

  • John

    They should do away with plastic bags altogether. Humans are just too lazy and irresponsible to use them properly. I’m tired of seeing plastic garbage blowing all over town and getting stuck in the bushes and trees. It’s disgusting. That’s partially the purpose of this tax. To try and persuade people to switch to an alternative. If everyone is so concerned about the tax, they could easily go pickup bags off the streets and out of the bushes so they would have a free supply for years to come.

  • Jayme

    Well, if I’m being taxed for my grocery bag am I going to get a returned fee when I drop them off at the recycle bin? This is just another way for the government to squeeze out a penny or two from the citizens at a time. What I’d be curious to see is if the Food stamp program will be allotting an allowance for bags on the magic green card for the bags if this were to pass. I’d rather have plastic over a bag that holds bacterial that can kill me. I suppose everyone could just stock up on Save a lot plastic bags and bring their own… Then what? A general bagging tax at the store? Funny, Republicans always get the blame for taxes, glad to see it’s a democrat…


      “Republicans always get the blame for taxes, glad to see it’s a democrat…” are you nuts?

  • Kem

    Out of all the problems facing Pennsylvania–a bloated and incompetent state legislature, Marcellus shale pollution, an antiquated state monopoly over alcohol, notoriously awful roads, subpar public transit, etc.–our representatives are most concerned about PLASTIC BAGS? Are you kidding me? THIS is what our tax dollars are paying for? Maybe if our representatives stopped wasting so much time and money over non-issues, we wouldn’t need to create ridiculous new taxes to cover the giant deficit in the budget.

  • Airdoc

    With the price of food rising, of course a democrat wants to raise taxes. They just didn’t learn anything in November. Let’s all use the tiny fabric bags at $5 or $6 each that you would need 10 of them to hold groceries from a medium size trip to the store. And some of these bags have been found to have lead in them. GO GREEN – LEAD IN OUR GROCERY BAGS AND MERCURY IN OUR LIGHTBULBS !!

  • Joey Bagadonuts

    Exactly Kem, Period.

  • Shawn

    Sound like a great idea to me we as a nation need to be more responsible and save our earth plasic bags destroy fillout landfields get rid of plasic bags all together!

    • Ann

      Guess we need to get rid of all drink bottles. No more Pepsi/Coke product bottles. No more milk in gallon jugs. No more orange juice. Oh can’t have Rubbermaid containers. No more toothbrushes. No more…really? Everything is made from plastic. Tasting bags is certainly not going to deter people from using them. But. That is the #1 problem the state is facing.

  • dave

    With the quality of the bags, there is no way that I will pay for them. Most of the time they have holes in them or they rip with something heavy like a gallon of milk. Plus I do reuse the decent bags when I walk my dog.

  • Daniel

    Not to mention here in Pittsburgh we use the blue ones to put our recycling items in! Duh!!!! Please vote this guy out the next time he runs.

    • Rich

      I try to recycyle as much as I can. However if I must pay for a blue bag to do so, I will just put everything in the regular pick up.. And that can add even more to the landfill.

  • Daniel

    Here is a link to send Senator Leach a comment…Do not use the search for your representative at the top of the page….just fill out everything below it. And by the way this guy sure has an appropriate last name does he not?

  • What the Heck

    Can you believe that the State has so many problems that the one they pick to work on is this. i think it is time we start to vote these people out. Next thing they will be taxing is walking on the street…. What jerks…..

  • Alan Smythe

    Two cents for a plastic bag? This is almost a slight inconvenience to my daily life! This is tyranny and oppression at its worst! Let the revolution begin!

    Seriously people, don’t worry. If people are THAT opposed to paying an infinitesimal fee for something they’ve gotten for free for fifty years then the bill won’t pass.

  • Pitt grad

    Instead of charging extra, why don’t they give rebates to people who reuse the plastic bags? In high school I worked at a grocery store and we offered 3 cents off your grocery order per bag if someone reused plastic and 5 cents per bag if they reused paper. It was a popular option!

    Personally, I have reusable bags and try to use them, but if I’m running to the store straight from work I don’t always have my totes with me.

  • Janet

    I want to use cloth bags all the time but its hard to remember to bring them. I think we just need to get in the habit of keeping a few in our car but we won’t unless it costs us something to use the plastic bags. I bring my own bags when I shop at Aldi and its not that hard to do. I feel the same way about plastic water bottles and other plastic containers that are meant to be used one time. Its all just too much waste! Now if stores gave us credit for using our own bags, like a nickel a bag, people would soon get used to it.

  • Kimberly

    You know, not everyone has a few extra pennies to rub together. Gas, food and everything in between is going up. Are they trying to put more people on Welfare? Both my husband and myself work and we do have only one child, but with all the raising taxs for this or that, we are still still struggling to get by. I know they look at it as “it’s only 2 cent” , but it adds up people. Besides I have found many uses for reusing thoose bags. such as craft ideas, bath room garbage bags, cleaning animal messes, and reusing them to take a packed lunch to work. WE ARE GOING GREEN JERK OFFS!!!~!!! GIVE US A BREAK ON THE UNNESSASARY TAXES!!!

  • r s q

    and they will tax you to take a pee do you know there kids are exempt from paying back student loans true

  • ss

    I oppose this tax. I am fed up with all the taxes I pay in Pennsylvania. I agree with a previous speaker let’s cut out the perks for our elected officials. I think they get paid too much for lousy job performance. Why should they get raises? I haven’t received a raise in two years because my employer is strapped. I say let’s pay our elected officials less, cut their perks, and that should help our financial strain.

  • Janet

    I agree the taxes are troublesome but so far we are blessed to have no sales tax on food and clothing. I just returned from a city where the sale tax is over 9%!
    If you have kids they will be the ones to pay for the problems caused by the over-use of plastics. I once watched a plastic bag stuck on a tree for years. It doesn’t break down! If you can re-use or recycle the bags its all good but eventually most of the plastics we use will find their way to a nearby landfill.

  • Tweets that mention Pennsylvania Lawmaker Wants To Tax Plastic Bags « CBS Pittsburgh --

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by GrassrootsPA, Mike Schaeffer. Mike Schaeffer said: RT @GrassrootsPA: STATE SENATOR: TAX PLASTIC BAGS: ( // Hey PA residents!! READ this. Another progressive dem taxing u […]

  • christine

    This is ridiculous.please lets take away all the perks that the state and gov.officials cars,free trips that are not business related,free housing,and many many more.they are taking advantage of the taxpayers and that’s rep.and dems.

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