The Revelation

Mississippi’s New Plastic Bag Tax Ban

Dae Robinson, Overall Editor

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     According to The Clarion-Ledger writer Jimmie E. Gates, in July of 2018, a new law will go into effect that prohibits Mississippi local governments from regulating the use of plastic bags, cups, or other containers.

     Prior to the law, the state of Mississippi allowed local governments to decide whether or not businesses can tax the use of plastic bags and other auxiliary containers. Similar taxes have been used in other states as a way to encourage consumers to bring their own reusable bags. Plastic bags, plastic to-go ware and other one-use plastics, as they are called are extremely detrimental to our ecosystem as they take thousands of years to decompose. The bags in particular float aimlessly in landfills, oceans, and streets whereas paper bags decompose quickly and reusable bags are sustainable.

     Sadly, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant supported Senate Bill 2570 that bans local governments from regulating, restricting or imposing any fees or taxes on bags, cups, bottles or other single-use packaging. prohibiting certain containers or imposing a fee or tax on their use, according to Gates.

     Sen. Rita Parks of Corinth, Mississippi authored the bill.

     “Park’s bill doesn’t prohibit any restrictions on a curbside recycling program, a designated residential or commercial recycling location, or a commercial recycling program,” Gates said.

     Although the bill does not affect recycling programs, it still hurts the environmental efforts that so many Mississippians have been supporting for so long.

     Many assume Bryant was prompted to support this bill because of his alliance to oil companies but for whatever the reason, this law will inhibit municipal local ordinances and push our state even farther back in the freedom to choose. The plastic bag tax ban is just another example of why Mississippi is stuck in the past.

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Mississippi’s New Plastic Bag Tax Ban