Opinion: Unintended Consequences

Dear Editor,

Allowing we are living in an immeasurable Nanny State, Albany bureaucrats believe they know better than we do when it comes to making personal choices about health care, child rearing, diet, smoking, adding to this list, straws, Styrofoam and coffee pods, which have all been recently targeted by green groups. 

The most recent; Ban on plastic shopping bags. Statistically a recent study of similar plastic-bag bans in California found that while overall plastic-bag consumption was reduced, the sale of smaller garbage bags spiked by 120 percent due to people who no longer had leftover plastic shopping bags with which to line their garbage cans or clean up after their pets (add to this short list your many personal usages), forcing them to simply buy garbage bags which are not covered by the ban. 

Our current Nanny State oversight will actually encourage littering as our purchases will no longer come with a “ready receptacle” to collect wrappers, cups, lids, containers and other miscellaneous things, and are more likely to be thrown out of a car window or dropped onto the sidewalk. 

Offered in the study, the use of reusable cotton tote bag alternatives turns out far worse for the environment when factoring in the emissions and the energy needed to create them. Not factored in is the cost to those who can least afford to pay for the added burden of purchasing plastic and tote bags. 

Like many Nanny State endeavors, it will create a host of unintended consequences. 


Florence Alpert

Responsible Plastic Bag User

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