Editorial: Ohio tax ban shortsighted

We won’t ask — yet again — why Ohio’s General Assembly members concoct such bad ideas because that’s just too easy. It seems too often there’s another provision added to a piece of legislation to derail debate and upend the boundaries of common sense. The latest is a permanent ban barring local taxes from being levied on the use of plastic bags, the kind you get in grocery stores.

Imagine, one day you could grow up, get elected to the General Assembly and become the author of legislation that protects the plastic bag industry over the environment. Mom and Dad would be so proud.

We must say we’re baffled by this. Why would anyone take the time to craft a provision — to sneak into other legislation — so that cities and towns would be prohibited from taxing the menacing plastic bags, which have a one-use life cycle? Think about it. Whose master are lawmakers serving?

We can do better. We should expect better. From our lawmakers and from ourselves. There has to be a better way to move our groceries from stores to our refrigerators that won’t be as harmful to the environment as these bags, millions and millions of bags. Surely we can be more thoughtful?

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more than 14.5 million tons of plastic containers and packaging became municipal solid waste in 2018 alone. Taxing bad practices is one way lawmakers have to improve situation, or in this case, cater to the lobbyists

Powerful retail and plastics industry groups — including the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Manufacturers Association, and the Ohio Chemistry Technology Council — all supported the proposal. Score big for them; loss big for the planet.

— Sandusky Register, June 23