You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe


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.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week