If you think the supply chain is challenging now, things may actually get worse when Congress taxes the resin plastics industry. Many more of the products you’ve become accustomed to using daily will disappear.
As a small but significant part of the $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill, a section called the Rewarding Efforts to Decrease Unrecycled Contaminants in Ecosystems (REDUCE) Act addresses the specific tax. The tax focuses on resin manufacturers, but a real possibility is that the manufacturers will pass the tax on to consumers.
The REDUCE Act has had limited analysis and debate due to tremendous need, and this may lead to an increased burden on consumers. It’s currently been fast-tracked by the House of Representatives, and even if the infrastructure bill dies, you can expect this portion to continue to show up in other forms of legislation.
Plastics industry placement
The convenient cost of your single-use plastic is about to become exceptionally expensive. Even if you make an effort to reuse your plastics, you’ll pay more for your plastic bags, PPE, party goods, razors, swabs, and food packaging if the twenty cents per pound tax is approved – or you’ll have to do without.
Resin plastic permeates every part of our lives. The REDUCE tax on plastic creates a 16.9-billion-dollar annual economic impact on consumers and workers alike.
Other industries that rely on resin plastic to distribute their products will also feel the impact. Bottled water, for example, requires a container; so does milk, orange juice, and box wine.
The future of the resin plastics
Companies like Exxon are already looking to avoid the plastics tax by recycling and reusing single-use plastics to reduce their eco-footprint and minimize costs.
Reducing plastic waste is an admirable goal, especially for anyone eager for a cleaner world. However, the resin tax will do more than eat away at the average American’s budget. It also may jeopardize the jobs of more than 170,000 workers.
Consumers will continue to purchase plastic goods; there’s no way around it. Inelastic demand will force consumers to adjust their budgets, spending less in other areas.
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