Proposed Law Would Charge For Plastic Grocery Bags

Those plastic shopping bags could lead to higher grocery bills, if a proposed law passes in Indiana. It would charge people for them in an effort to encourage the use of reusable bags.

Indiana State Representative Shelli Vandenburgh has proposed a bill that is catching a lot of attention. The bill would charge consumers ten cents per plastic grocery bag. State legislators allege that this is in an effort to better the environment and give consumers an incentive to bring re-usable bags but not everyone thinks it is a good idea.

"Only have ex amount budgeted for groceries and if I get charged for the sacks and it is over what my budget is then I am going to have to put something back and there are going to be a lot of families that have to that," Ronda Lafontaine said.

Not all state legislators are for the measure. Republican State Senator Jim Tomes does not think this is the time to impose more fees or taxes on any hoosier.

"Folks are struggling enough, trying to pay utility bills and grocery bills and just living. So, any step that would increase that cost, I just can not be a part of it," Tomes said.

Tomes does think the law is good in theory but he does not think the consumer should have to foot the bill.

"If the objective here is to go green, then recycle those bags back. If it is brought back in good condition then the stores can buy them back and the stores can send them back to the suppliers that they came from and they can recycle those back into brand new bags," Tomes said.

Some consumers believe overall the law is a good incentive for something people should be doing anyway.

"They do not hold groceries very well anyway, they rip and are a pain. I just, like I said, I like to pitch in as much as I can, my daughter and I both use our own bags," Beth Jonap said.

If the law is passed, it will go into effect at the beginning of 2012.

The money raised would fund the state economic development corporation and the state department of education.