Free Public Forums: The Environmental and Economic Impact of Plastic Bags Bans

Free Public Forum

The Environmental and Economic Impact of Plastic Bags Bans

Featuring Julian Morris of the Reason Foundation

In the past two years, two of New Mexico’s largest cities, Santa Fe and Silver City, have passed bans on plastic shopping bags. They join hundreds of others nationwide that have adopted similar measures.

It is likely only a matter of time before governing bodies throughout New Mexico, particularly within the Rio Grande Corridor, consider such policies.

To help ensure that decisions on this matter are made on the basis of the best available evidence, we have invited one of the foremost experts to discuss the issues involved at free public events in Albuquerque and Las Cruces.

Albuquerque event details are as follows:

  • When:  Monday, September 15, 6:00pm to 7:30pm
  • Where:  Room 2401 at UNM Law School which is located at: 1117 Stanford Dr NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

Las Cruces event details are as follows:

  • When:  Tuesday, September 16, 7:30am to 8:30am
  • Where:  Sunset Grill at Sonoma Ranch Golf Course which is located at: 1274 Golf Club Rd, Las Cruces, NM 88011
  • Continental breakfast will be provided.

Please let us know you’re coming by E-mailing us at and identify which event (Albuquerque or Las Cruces) you’ll be attending.

About the Speaker

Julian Morris is Vice President of Research at Reason Foundation and author of the new report: “How Green Is that Grocery Bag Ban? An Assessment of the Environmental and Economic Effects of Grocery Bag Bans and Taxes“.

He wrote a column on the issue that recently appeared in Time.

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5 Replies to “Free Public Forums: The Environmental and Economic Impact of Plastic Bags Bans”

  1. I notice that Julian Morris has benefitted from the Koch brothers’ largess and The Reason Foundation is funded in part by ExxonMobil, all of whom are bleeding hearts who care so much for the little guy. In spite of Paul’s earlier assertions to the contrary, it is important to “follow the money.” Does Paul really think RGF would get any more Koch dollars if he decided to accept the consensus of 99% of the world’s climate scientists that climate change is real, human-caused and getting worse?

    Morris says we have no need to recycle because we still have plenty of room for our trash, probably in our back yards, but why worry about that? There is certainly no need to recycle plastic bags because they are a petroleum product and every new bag puts more money in Exxon-Mobil’s and the Koch’s pockets.

    Morris wants no limitation on the amount of coal we burn to generate electricity, no matter how much pollution and resulting human illness and environmental devastation it causes.

    Morris also advocates corporate ownership of our National Parks – the National Parks that presently belong to, and are open to, all of us. How long will it take for our National Parks to become private country clubs with entry fees out of the reach of the ordinary Americans the Kochs care so much about? Or maybe our National Parks’ new corporate owners will decide it’s in their “shareholders'” best interest to close our parks, clear-cut our forests and mine and drill these sacred natural wonders until our parks are vast wastelands no one would ever want to visit.

    I have a previous engagement on the 15th. Perhaps someone will let me know if Morris has changed his mind on any of the above.

  2. BTW, Lest you think I am anti-capitalism, my wife and I have invested in the stock market, but I am also aware of the downside of an un-restricted free market and unlimited corporate power. We must find a balance somewhere and somehow when a few financial giants can crash the world’s economy, escape consequences and walk away with wheelbarrows full of money.

    1. I am not sure what you are getting with in your two posts here Ken. Plastic bags are only tangentially related to the issue of climate change and I would encourage recycling and/or reuse. I personally use my bags for picking up dog poop and in my small trash cans.

      In terms of the national parks, Reason and other organizations have discussed privatizing the management of the parks. No one is advocating for privatizing the parks themselves.

      If you really think the Koch Bros. and Exxon-Mobile get a significant percentage of their revenues from plastic bag manufacturing, I think you are incorrect. Besides, lots of energy goes into making cloth or paper bags. In fact, the Koch Brothers own a company, Georgia-Pacific, that makes paper bags. It just doesn’t make sense on its face.

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