Lawmakers propose laws to generate cash, control behavior

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.

recycle_binProponents of both bills state the goal of the programs is behavior modification, keeping grocery bags out of landfills and off the street. Plastic is bad don’t you know?

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?

big-recycle-binsWhy 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.

6 replies
  1. phil
    phil says:

    Been using cloth bags for years.  Some stores rebate 2 to 5 cents for each bag used.  My bags are well paid for.  Nickle a bag law enacted, I will go to Sams and buy a box of new plastic bags.  I'll sell you one for four cents, three for a dime.  Better my pocket than the General Fund!

  2. SoundOffSister
    SoundOffSister says:

    We went from paper bags to plastic bags many years ago to "save trees".  Those plastic bags were said to be made out of an unuseable by-product of oil refining.  Thus, a great idea, at least, at the time.

    So, now the plan is to "tax" the plastic bags?  Doesn"t anyone remember how we got here?   Maybe we should go back to paper bags, cutting off yet another source of taxing us for dumb moves made by the very politicians who now want to tax us for their dumb moves.


  3. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    “In the absence of self control, we have laws to control everything else.” – unknown.? A little common sense on our part goes a long way.? A lot of?bottled water labels indicate the?source is PWS – public water supply.???Plastic is made from oil AND?takes forever to decompose.? Using paper?requires planting new trees.? Simple facts, simple decisions.? Controlling behavior, yes they will try.? Something is yours as long as you are strong enough to keep it.? Being responsible with it is the rest of that story.?

  4. sqkingsley
    sqkingsley says:

    Garbage bags that you buy at the grocery store are plastic.  I use every single plastic bag that is given to me by my grocery store for garbage and trash bags around my house.  So now, the State wants to tax a service that my grocery store provides to me because I am shopping there.  So, if I forgo the bags given to me by my local grocery store, I will still use the same amount of bags, I will just have to buy them as packaged garbage bags.  So, now the State wants to interfere in the local service my grocery provides to me and tax me on it.   Wow !  Every single day I can not believe that I could possibly continue to be more outraged of the sheer takeover by the current socialist administration with the help of the  mainstream media – yet Every day continues to bring more outrage.

  5. TomTGRWolcott
    TomTGRWolcott says:

    This is the Environmentalists fault.  They are trying to brain wash everyone that man is doing more harm to the environment by using plastic bags and bottles.

    The fact of the matter is that Plastics in a landfill will only take up if buried, about 13% by volume in a landfill.  The Argument is that plastics do not decay.  Well in part that's true it takes a long time for a plastic bag or bottle to break down.  However don't you remember in school that we were taught that paper breaks down in a landfill, that's why its okay to bury it?

    To break down paper you need 3 things. 1: Bacteria – these bacteria break down paper only if these two things are present   2: Oxygen and 3: Water  The bacteria responsible for breaking down paper are Anaerobic, meaning that they need air to do this.


    This is from

    The recovery of 2,425 datable, readable newspapers from landfill excavations dramatically changed that view, especially since the relative proportion of newspapers varied little between materials deposited anywhere from five to forty years before exhumation and in environments which received anywhere between 11 and 80 inches of rain a year. The one exception was Fresh Kills Landfill that was started in 1948 when refuse was deposited in a tidal swamp on Staten Island with no liner. Under these conditions, refuse layers from the late 1940s and from the 1950s are now largely devoid of organic materials, including newspapers.

    Inks on these paper products get washed off during weather events that have associated with them precipitation. These inks then can get into the underlying water table.  plastics for the most part do not give up their dyes and inks, they remain extremely stable.

    Because plastics do not decay you also do not have to deal with the terrible odor that is produced by decaying matter, mostly methane gas.

    The Truth of the matter is yes, those plastic bags hanging in trees is not a pretty site, nor are the paper cups from Fast Food Restaurants found on streets and highways.

    Paper and Bags are not the issue, nor is the recycling of these materials at issue, what is at issue is the irresponsible way that people just throw their trash out the window.

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