The NH House is toying with the idea of a regressive tax on plastic grocery bags. Thin-film bags are the least carbon-intensive solution but because of their visibility virtue-signaling leftists have been after them for years. NH Democrats virtue signal with the best.
To prove the point, last year the NH House tried to pass bans on bags, straws, all single-use plastic, and it didn’t go well. Because they are all bad ideas. But when it comes to bad ideas the Left is nothing if not persistent.
The bag bill was retained in the committee. The so-called compromise version would add a mandatory charge on every thin-film and paper bag. The store keeps the cash, but it’s still a tax mandated by force of law, so don’t lose sight of that.
And that arrangement is temporary. If implemented future expressions of legislative ‘concern’ on the matter will funnel some or all of that “fee” into the treasury.
The idea (as with all such measures) is to change your behavior. Add a fee (low-income folks hit hardest), and that will encourage you to choose reusable bags. And at the end of the day, we’ll have saved the planet.
First, the life-cycle of a thin film bag when only used once still has a monumentally smaller carbon footprint than any alternative. Neither paper nor “reusable plastic” nor reusable nylon and fabric bags can compete. Use that thin-film bag for something else after you get it home (trashcan liner, pet waste bag), and that gap widens.
Second, arguments that they are not or cannot (or are not) recycled are rubbish. Recycling these bags has never been easier, and it’s Environmentalist approved!
Third, neither bans nor fees on thin-film bags have proven to have any significant impact on plastic in the environment or in the waste stream. In some studies, the problem got worse.
Fourth, no one accounts for the increase in carbon footprint created by reusable bag use at the point of purchase. If you have ever used them or like me, been stuck in line behind people who use them, it takes a lot longer. Minutes longer. Every minute is a carbon creating loss in productivity. From 30,000 feet, it all adds up.
Fifth, most of the plastic getting into the ocean is not coming from here (meaningless gesture is now more meaningless). And if it were, research shows it does break down into dissolved organic carbon. Translation – not the frikking crisis they’ve been selling you.
Outside Money Takes Your Money
Surfrider’s real plan for Portsmouth and the rest of New Hampshire appears geared towards driving us away from paper and plastic to a bag that uses more energy to produce, is harder to recycle, and would create greater stress on the waste stream. Reusable bags have the largest carbon footprint of all.
They are still at it, and proud of their economic and environmental destruction. Tell your representatives to say no. Then tell your state senators. Then tell the governor, and on and on until it is vetoed, and the veto is sustained.