As is frequently the case when the government attempts to make a behavior illegal or discourage it via a tax or mandated price, there will be unforeseen and unintended consequences.
Here are some of the unintended consequences I can imagine:
• An increase in the purchase and use of plastic trash bags such as Glad Bags. (We have to get our debris to the garbage and recycling bins somehow.)
• More money spent to support the plastic industry (see above).
• A decrease in recycling as it becomes more costly and inconvenient to do so.
• Costs to retail establishments to maintain the "detailed records on bag-related costs and revenues" to comply with the ordinance, which would be passed on to consumers via higher prices.
• Increased cost of government to monitor and evaluate the program, which would be passed on to taxpayers.
Let's keep the government out of the retail business. If reducing the use of plastic and paper packaging associated with retail establishments is a legitimate government goal (which I question), I suggest it be done by encouraging consumers to reduce the purchase of boxed food, such as cereals, cookies, frozen food and other goods generally found in the center of grocery stores.
Sue O'Donnell, Linda Vista Avenue, Atherton