• Plastic bag tax introduced by city council member

    By: Greg Coy

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A city council member wants you to pay more for plastic grocery bags to cut down on litter in the city.

    The Memphis City Council is considering charging customers a seven-cent user fee for each bag in the future.


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    "It is petty. Why do we have pay seven cents for?" said Brittany Clark as she loaded plastic bags into her car.  

    The idea is to help reduce the number of plastic bags that end up becoming litter and eye soars which cost the city $5.6 million dollars a year to bury plastic bags in the landfill.

    Clark was sympathetic but not willing to pay an extra seven cents. "I am not going to spend any money on any bags, sorry," said Clark who made her opinion known.

    City councilwoman Patrice Robinson told us she has not heard from constituents about this proposal and wants their input. "We need some input from the community. I have not gotten a lot of emails. I have not gotten a lot of phone calls," Councilwoman Robinson told FOX13.

    I found out there are five other cities across the country with some type of fee for customers using plastic bags. 

    Councilman Robinson told us her staff is talking to those communities to find out what has been their experience. 

    "It has got to make sense. I am numbers person. I need to know what is the benefit to the community. What does it really cost us," said Councilwoman Robinson.

    Back at the grocery store, Brittany Clark told us she will probably end up bringing her own bag rather paying the fee is the proposal passes. 
    "I would. My mom has done it before, so I would," said Clark.

    FOX13 reached out to the major retailers who offer plastic bags to shoppers for a response. Kroger sent us the following statement:

    Kroger does not have an opinion on it. Just so you know, we do collect bags for recycling at each store every day.

    The plastic bag tax was introduced as just a discussion item by Council Chairman Berlin Boyd. He has not drafted a resolution or ordinance to present to the council.

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