Letters to the Editor: Why a 1-penny tax on plastic containers is hugely unfair

Plastic bottles that washed up on a beach after heavy rains.
Plastic bottles are among the trash and debris that washed up on the beach after heavy rain in Southern California in January 2018.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: A one-penny tax on disposable plastic to be voted on in 2022 does not leave me optimistic that California will finally get a handle on its trash problem.

It seems unfair to pass a tax that will affect poor people the most. Our plastic problem was caused by free market capitalism and the corporate welfare state, and the cleanup should be funded by those who profited from it.

First, we need to stop all subsidies for the fossil fuel industry so that the price of “disposable” plastic, a petroleum product, reflects the true cost.


Second, we need to make the shareholders of the companies that profit from cheap plastic pay for the cleanup. We should not make poor people pay.

The plastic we put into the environment today will need to be cleaned up by our descendants hundreds of years from now, and that is hugely unfair. People have gotten rich because of plastic pollution, and we need to make them pay for the cleanup.

Brent Trafton, Long Beach


To the editor: Instead of waiting for laws than ban disposable plastics, I’ve taken this pollution problem to be my household’s personal problem.

Replacing plastic containers is easy. Laundry strips that come in a cardboard container replace detergent in plastic bottles. Bars of soap replace containers of liquid hand and dish soap. Shampoo and conditioner in bar form can be used in lieu of liquid sold in plastic bottles.

Vote for a better environment with your wallet. Manufacturers and retailers will follow the money.

Carole Daley, Laguna Beach