Public Externalities, Private Solutions

Source: EconLog
by Jon Murphy

“I like to go to the pizza place down the road from me, order a pizza to-go, sit at the bar, and try different brews on tap. Ordinarily, I do not pay too much attention to the bill. The prices for the beers are all uniform, and my pizza order doesn’t tend to vary much, so I know what the bill will be. However, my last trip was different. As I was waiting for them to run my card, I was looking over the receipt they gave me and noticed a charge at the bottom for the pizza: ‘Take-out container fee.’ I paid my tab and went home and did a little exploring. I wanted to see if this fee was something imposed by the city or county or just something the restaurant wanted to do to try to discourage food and take-out waste. Turns out, it was the latter …” (09/12/22)