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letters | plastic bags banned in brookline

Instead of banning bags, think of it as an exercise in economics

Economists have a saying: The right answer is rarely all or nothing. Case in point: Brookline banning plastic bags altogether because of a small uncovered cost of non-biodegradability (“The bag wars,” Ideas, Nov. 25). Instead of a ban, the optimal solution to the paper vs. plastic debate is for Brookline to tax retailers perhaps a penny on each plastic bag, and then spend that money on conservation measures.

Retailers wouldn’t pass the tax on to consumers, since they would still prefer that consumers select plastic bags over the more costly paper bags.

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