Vila Times

Guam considers a bill to tax plastic bags

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Shoppers would be charged a fee of 25 cents per plastic bag under a bill that seeks to gradually phase out the use of plastic bags in Guam.

Retailers and restaurants would be prohibited from distributing disposable plastic bags unless the customer pays the 25-cent fee. Violations are subject to a fine of $500 for a first offense, and $1,000 for repeat violations, Marianas Variaty reports.

Introduced by Sen. Regine Biscoe Lee, Bill 242-34, also proposes to tax businesses 10 cents per plastic bag imported to Guam.

If the bill is enacted into law, the plastic-bag tax would roll into effect on April 1 and would be lifted on Oct. 1, when a full ban takes effect.

“It would be advantageous for Guam to be seen as taking steps to protect our island as the environment plays a significant role in our tourism industry,” the bill states, noting that several countries and neighboring islands have already banned the use of plastic bags.

In the CNMI, a plastic-bag ban is awaiting Senate action.