China Shames Annapolis; Bans Plastic Bags

Or so Alderman Shropshire would argue.

In a move certain to influence City Hall lawmakers, the People’s Republic of China has semi-banned plastic bags:

China is banning free plastic bags common at shops and supermarkets and
ordering customers to be charged for any they use, the government said

The rules, which take effect June 1, come as the country tries to tackle a
significant source of litter, a statement on the government’s Web site

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The bags also are banned from all public transportation, including
buses, trains and planes and from airports and scenic locations, the government

Shops have been instructed to mark the price of the plastic bags clearly
and not fold them into the cost of other items.

My first point is that banning private market transactions is what socialists do. The Chinese government is telling businesses what prices to charge! That should not be what happens here, and we should not interpret China’s action as an example for us. Take a look at the penalty for non-compliance:

Companies caught breaking the new rules face fines and possible forfeiture of
goods, the government said.

The government tells you what to do, what price to charge, and confiscates your inventory if you fail to comply! Sounds like a great place to start a business.

Now for my second point: China’s plan is actually less communistic/socialistic than the plan that would have been implemented in Annapolis! The Chinese government at least allows for the option to buy plastic bags for an additional cost, whereas the Annapolis plan would have banned them altogether.

For me, China’s plastic bag policy should not be our example to follow; rather, it further proves why the council did the right thing in shooting the bill down, albeit in a crooked, back-room way.


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