Brattleboro Bans Plastic Bags

July 10, 2018

By Rob Roper

As of July first, it is illegal in the town of Brattleboro to give out “single use” plastic bags; the flimsy, shapeless things you get at the grocery store. This is a perfect example of government overreach with unintended consequences, and a failure to learn from others’ mistakes.

First, it’s not fair to label those flimsy bags as “single use.” We use them for lots of things after we’re done using them to carry groceries. Most ubiquitously, they line garbage cans throughout the house. Personally, I use them on dog walks for picking up waste. When I travel, I’ll use one to wrap spare shoes, and stuff a couple extra in my suitcase for dirty clothes as they accumulate. They are handy, light, tie up, and fold compactly.

But here’s what happens when you ban them, and I know of what I speak….

My family chooses Chatham, Massachusetts, as a regular vacation destination. Chatham, about a year and a half ago, banned these awesome plastic bags as well. The local grocery store started giving out heavy duty plastic bags that qualified as “multi use.” They were thicker and had a most definite rectangular shape. Surely these things were more expensive, required more material, and took more energy to produce. Moreover, they were totally useless for anything else. They did not fit in household garbage cans. They were too bulky to stick in a pocket for a dog walk. You couldn’t tie the tops, so they didn’t work for dirty laundry. End result, these “multi-use” bags got used once. And, adding insult to injury, I then had to go out and buy more plastic bags to go into garbage cans, etc., that also got used once.

So, to the politicians and bureaucrats in Brattleboro and elsewhere, I know you think you’re helping, but you are not.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

About Us

The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.
Read more...

Latest News

Millennials Are Getting Screwed by Progressive Policies

January 18, 2019 by Rob Roper Senate Majority Leader Becca Balint (D-Windham) recently penned an op-ed discussing “The Financial Predicament of Millennials.” She opens by quoting a young...

Zupan and Bellini on the carbon tax

January 17, 2019 by John McClaughry  Here two takes on a carbon tax from two very different Vermonters. Lawrence Zupan was the Republican candidate against Bernie Sanders last...

Looking Ahead to 2019

January 16, 2019 By John J. Metzler New York—It’s that time of the year again to consult the crystal snow globe and look ahead at what global political...

One State School District? It Depends.

January 14, 2019 by Rob Roper Someone leaked a memo from the Scott Administration proposing some pretty big changes to the structure of the Vermont public school system,...

Remarks from the Anti-Carbon Tax Rally

January 10, 2019 by Rob Roper This is a loose transcript of remarks made by Ethan Allen Institute President, Rob Roper, at the January 9 Anti-Carbon Tax Rally...

Video