Consumer plastics remain under siege with another so-called “Eco-Sin” tax underway this time in Chicago.
While San Francisco is now fining grocery/shopping stores that use plastic bags Chicago will soon apply a 5-cent tax on each and every plastic bottled-water sold in the city starting January 1.
Several food and beverage retailer alliance is already suing the city over the tax including the American Beverage Association, which posted a twelve day ’til tax day statements stating the harmful effects of the tax to Chicago’s consumers and retailers.
The 30% tax will definitely weigh heavily on the pockets of many bottled water lovers in Chicago. Either that or cross the city border to buy tax-free water, according to Chicago Tribune.
So here’s some of the scenario that I see in my head. Many bottled-water are being consumed while on the go so I’m foregoing the “drink tap water instead” alternative.
SCENARIO 1: Consumers decide to drive over the city border to buy cases of bottled water to avoid tax. More driving = extra gas consumed. Also, more packaging are being consumed because consumers are increasingly buying cases instead of one or two bottles from the nearby store.
SCENARIO 2: Consumers decide to buy glass bottled water, which they can refill and take everywhere they go. I don’t see much of this happening because glass bottle are more cumbersome and heavier to take. Also, not only are they more expensive, glass bottles are more energy intensive in terms of manufacturing and transportation.
SCENARIO 3: Consumers decide to lessen their bottled water regimen. This could mean, they can drink flavored waters or vitamin waters instead that are more expensive and will result in the same bottled plastic use; or drink soda that could lead to health problems; or not drink as much that could lead to less healthy existence.
SCENARIO 4: Consumers decide to pay the tax and just get on with their more expensive life.
I don’t live in Chicago but hopefully this tax will not catch on in New York. I’m an avid plastic bottle recycler and already doing my part in reducing my carbon-filled existence. I don’t want to pay more for the sins of those not environmentally-conscious enough to recycle their own plastic bottles.