Follow the money; that’s what I’m asking you to do. In February the Connecticut State Legislature added bottled water to the states bottle bill law. It has yet to pass, but while they were at it, why not look for other ways to generate cash for the state and other special interests. Now the state is considering a nickel fee if you want to use a plastic bag.
The town of Westport went ahead and completely banned retailers from providing plastic bags to customers. Ireland introduced a heavy tax – almost 10 times the cost of the bag itself – to successfully reduce use of the bags by 92 percent.
Let me make this clear, this type of legislation has nothing to do with keeping plastic water bottles or plastic bags out of land fills. It may well result in reducing the junk in landfills, but by collecting a nickel deposit for soda and water, and charging a nickel to use a plastic bag, the government is ensuring control over your behavior.
These programs also have nothing to do with keeping trash off the streets. On a recent bike ride I saw empty empty soda cans all over the place. One guy was walking the street with a grocery cart picking them up.
I also saw cigarette packs, cups from fast food joints, newspapers, magazines and a crescent wrench. Why not charge a nickel deposit on those items to keep them off the side of the road? Maybe really make it worth it to bring the product back by charging a $1 deposit?
Their control is powered by your guilt. I don’t feel guilty, since I know what they are doing. You may ask, come on Steve, don’t you care about the environment? Of course I do, and my question to those who think I do not care is… What the heck are the plastic recycle bins for?
Why can’t we just put the plastic bags inside these bins? Why can’t we put the soda cans in these bins? Why can’t we put water bottles into these bins? They already let us put the Hartford Courant into the bins, why do we have to work any harder to get rid of Diet Dr. Pepper can?
Need more room? They make big versions that conveniently come in the official green or blue recycle colors!
Have you visited one of those bottle and can recycle centers at the local grocery store? I avoid them like the plague, simply because I don’t want to get the plague.
Tremendous advances have been made by companies that drive around to pick up your curbside junk. For some, the curbside junk is gold; well maybe silver or bronze. Either way, they make money by taking these materials and using them for something else.
Recycle companies have developed technology to more efficiently sort the materials that are placed in bins, which would make it easier for all of us to actually recycle without nickel and diming us with new taxes and fees.
So, for your homework why not follow the money? If you think the nickel fee for a plastic bag will all go towards “recycling programs” you’re dreaming… it will head right for the general fund.