Proposed Plastic Bans - When the 'Solution' is Worse Than the "Problem" - Granite Grok

Proposed Plastic Bans – When the ‘Solution’ is Worse Than the “Problem”

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Democrats virtue signal about everything. And very little, if anything, they promise, does what they say. Banning plastic is a good example. The claim is that this will be better for the environment. What they don’t tell you is that the alternatives to plastic are worse.

No one should be surprised. Gun control leads to less public safety. Government-run healthcare results in less affordable lower quality medical care. And open borders? That gave us the opioid crisis.

The other truth behind the “open-arms-let them all in” lie is that once they have the votes to sustain a permanent one-party state, the Left will have to close the borders. Maybe even build a wall. Name a Democrat Socialist nation that didn’t try to do one or both?

And so it is with plastics.

On September 11th the Concord Monitor published a letter from Jeanne Cusson of Concord who implores the New Hampshire Legislature and governor to ban plastic bags and straws. Why? Billions of tons of waste, some of it ending up in the ocean.

Sounds reasonable, until it’s not. Without getting into the weeds, the majority of this plastic she scares you with comes from Asia. About 90% of it. Nothing the Main street business owner or average citizen in New Hampshire does will have any effect on that problem. None.

Cusson and similar advocates are hijacking an irrelevant issue to advance some other agenda. To the detriment of jobs, low prices, convenience, common sense, and the environment.

When the Solution is Worse than the “Problem”

Replacement bags for single-use plastic still have a significantly higher carbon footprint than thin-film plastic, but that’s not even the worst of it. The so-called paper and biodegradable plastics, the replacements for the real thing – are becoming a huge problem.

The study determined the negative environmental consequences of such bans outweigh the benefits. For example, paper substitutes to polystyrene products typically produce more waste, causing greater water and air pollution.

And many of the so-called solutions are filling up landfills where they never properly break down.

Originally intended to help alleviate plastic waste, compostable products are instead filling up landfills and wreaking havoc on recycling plants.

Mandated composting and recycling programs that wasted millions have to be rolled back to prevent doing more damage. Talk about a waste problem.

Keep it in the Grass Roots and Maybe it Will Work

If Cusson and Company want to use private resources to educate folks about their environmental priorities, even if they only provide half the story, they should do that. And I applaud them.

Those on the receiving end are likewise entitled to make decisions about their businesses or lifestyles in response. But under no circumstance should the state be mandating solutions that are ultimately worse than a problem their intrusive legislative action won’t even solve.

Whether you believe plastic is a problem or a solution, the answer is free markets and private education initiatives. Ideally, the latter would include an honest assessment of both sides of the debate. Having followed the plastic ban cult for nearly a decade, I cannot report to you that this is my experience. 

It is a one-sided debate which, if you have an open enough mind, suggests that a cleaner world is not what they are after. To which, you should rightly ask, then what is?

As the legislative session ramps up, so will the signal-use plastic ban proposals.

But instead of lead-footing restrictions for the sake of a win, why not ask whether this is the way or the time? Because the alternatives if you’re serious about the environment, are worse than the ‘problem.’