Thursday, November 30, 2006

Paying Indirect or Direct Costs?

In what is being called a radical move, the Kenyan government is trying to reduce plastic waste by increasing the thickness of bags and thus the cost:

November 30, 2006
Kenya: Plastic Shopping Bags to Cost More
Jeff Otieno, The Nation, Nairobi

Shoppers will pay more for plastic bags come next year.
It is expected that the price of the bags will more than double, approximately from Sh1 to between Sh2.50 and Sh5. The extra cost will be transferred to consumers indirectly...

For a different take on this, here's something from Gathura's World, a blog from Nairobi. He makes a very good point:

November 30, 2006
NARC-otics in a Plastic Bag

"Instead of asking shoppers to pay directly for the bags when and if they want them, the government has chosen to charge all consumers regardless of whether or not they make the environmentally sound decision to reject the bags. This is unlikely to result in fewer people asking for the bags at the supermarket counter. For that to happen, consumers who make environmentally foolish choices would need to bear the full cost of those choices, not share the burden with those who chose otherwise."

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