Roper: Sack the plastic bag ban for the public good

By Rob Roper

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vermont Legislature passed a law banning the use of plastic bags at retail stores beginning in July 2020. Whether or not you agreed or disagreed with that decision before health and safety concerns took center spotlight, today this policy is indefensible. The ban should be repealed, or at the very least postponed until such a time as a vaccine for the virus is readily available.

Unfortunately, legislators hellbent on pushing forward with their ideological agenda show no interest in pursuing this commonsense step. Speaking in a meeting of the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee, which he chairs, Sen. Chris Bray (D-Addison) said, “We’re not interested in changing the law.”

Rob Roper is the president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

The purpose of the plastic bag ban was to forcibly “nudge” Vermonters into having to use reusable bags to do their shopping. However, several studies have shown that there are health risks associated with doing so (COVID-19 related and otherwise). Asking checkout clerks to handle bags that may not be sanitary, as well as encouraging shoppers to bring bags that may not be sanitary into stores in the first place, are totally unnecessary risks when dealing with a contagion.

Ironically perhaps, many stores in the wake of COVID-19 outright banned the use of reusable bags or put restrictions on their use (customers have to bag their own groceries if they want to use them, and, in some cases, do so outside of the building) precisely because of the potential health risks they pose.

The virus is not going away before July. There is a good chance it comes back in force next fall. By most estimates, we are at least a year away from a vaccine, if we ever get one. To deny stores an option to better protect the health and safety of their employees and customers is just deranged.

Proponents of the plastic bag ban argue that the danger from reusable bags is small. Even if they are correct, our lawmakers have been demanding of us citizens that we do and don’t do many things that would involve small risk of spreading the disease — everything from wearing masks to not being able to purchase “non-essential” items in a store we’re already in. And, for the most part we have complied out of respect for the public good.

People have given up their livelihoods to help fight COVID-19 based on what these politicians have told us to do. But, asked to give up a small piece of their radical agenda, even temporarily, for the greater good, their answer is a resounding “NO.” And that, folks, is mighty telling.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Joe Mabel
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20 thoughts on “Roper: Sack the plastic bag ban for the public good

  1. I reuse plastic bags all the time. As trash bags in my car, when I give away produce, etc.

  2. I’m going to solve this by doing most of my shopping in New Hampshire. Its a promise.

  3. Rob, short term perhaps, but one only has to look at the damage these bags caused AROUND THE WORLD not just Vermont and I believe they will agree that the ban should apply to ALL countries!!!

    • See this the NWO/Socialist argument that wins people over….the pollution!!! Yes there is, and a ton more pollution than just these stupid bags, but nobody wants to seriously address the problem. But they have us focused on the plastic bags, which should probably be addressed, but not this way.

      Now if Vermont got scientists, patented a good solution that was green and produced them for the world…..we’d solve our problem, we’d have great jobs, we’d be green.

      This would be an example of working together. Banning things is easy, destructive and makes everyone’s lives miserable. NWO/Socialists don’t want a better world for everyone, they just want a better world for themselves.

    • Mike, if you were smarter you would figure out that bags from stores in Vermont all go the Coventry landfill, and nowhere else. And banning them in vermont does nothing to solve the problem in the third world which is causing the problem.

      • Accurate reply, Vermonters are contributing little to ocean pollution.

        With this you lost 60% of the Vermont vote that is concerned about the environment.

        With this stance Vermont has lost all opportunity to prosper by creating a solution that promotes great jobs and is better for the environment.

        This is how we lose every election by being correct. Ed I have the utmost respect for you, even though we’ve never met. you have great logic and great comments.

      • The last thing on the planet these people want (NWO -socialists) want is people coming together solving problems as Americans. They want us arguing and fighting, the rinos also propegate this attitude.

        When we fight the NWO wins, Vermonters lose. When wemare fighting they are controlling the entire narrative and are completely able to control the agenda for Vermont.

        I’m so tired of their lies and agenda, I’m so tired of the fighting, I don’t believe I’m alone in this sentiment. I’m also sick of Vermont being in the losing end of EVERYTHING.

        • Neil, you are right Vermont is losing. We have been for years.!! We have 2 Senators and a Congressman who does Nothing !!! They don’t care about Vermont and her citizens. These 3 only care about themselves and their bank accounts. Leahy doesn’t even live in Vt anymore he lives in VA. Sanders, well he’s about as useful as a bull with —-. The legislators is 95% out of staters who moved here to take over Vt and make it like the state they left.

          • What you say is true. We need wins, even small wins to build our team. Perhaps precision efforts, along side the shot gun blast of sending as many out their to run.

            They are literally importing organizers to our state. We’re the farm team, training ground for socialists and NWO politicians, all done under the guise of the democratic party. There are many in the party that love America and our constitution, they are now held captive.

      • Their goal is not to save the environment.

        Their goal is to frame republicans as not caring for the environment.

        Can people see how they won this argument by completely framing the narrative? Their goal wasn’t and never is to solve problems, it’s to frame the narrative and keep people from coming together and solving problems. This is why nothing gets done in Vermont, we are the most partisan state in the union, as evidenced by the total fear across our entire state to put out sign in support of our president. You won’t see this fear in any other state.

        If we can’t come together as Vermonters, these communists are going to steal our lunch, for the 5th time this week.

        • The bottom line in all of this non-sense is control. Redistribution of wealth, gun control items, higher and higher taxes, are all part of the plan to get to the prize. Indoctrination of children (a plan that is in motion as we speak in public schools) , along with dumbing down of bright energetic children is a part of this as well. When middle school kids cannot say what the significance of Dec 7 is, we have a serious problem.

    • Gilhooly, don’t you mean that it’s better to ban plastic bags than to die?

      • Yes, Yes, Yes……Well done, well done. This is how they win.

        This is how they have framed the conversation and have such total control of the narrative within our state that Donald J. Trump will lose in Vermont, we may be the only state he does lose in.

        This is how we can be sent 1.25 BILLION DOLLARS and the man still cant’ do anything right……cause we’re all gonna’ die! Our children are going to starve! The environment is going to collapse!

        The whole framed conversation is to make Republicans look bad. Our state has done it better than every place in the nation, except for Washington D.C. And like Washington, that narrative is even more controlled, because Fox News doesn’t even cover Vermont so there is no national exposure to our lunacy and complete press monopoly.

        All conversations are framed to make Republicans look bad. When you realize this you can win EVERY argument, win hearts on every stance if you’re polite. That’s the key to their power. Truth is absolute kryptonite. It would be so much fun to expose them for all their lies. So much. We only need to come together and realize their scripts, because let me tell you, they can not come off script, that’s for sure.

  4. The NWO/socialist faction of the Democratic Party could care less about the environment. This is a public place holder to show of their environmental virtue. Many times they will take a stance and it doesn’t even matter if they get a bill passed, it’s not the intent.

    The intent is to control the conversation. They are always setting the agenda and we are always playing defense. Can’t win a game on defense only.

    This is their weakness and its a MAjOR WEAKNESS !

    Then they get us fighting, which is a major source of their power, dividing Vermonters and labeling a certain group of Vermonters. In this case they will label all those who oppose this bill as anti environment.

    With this they have accomplished their goal, if anybody is concerned about the environment, then they must vote dem, because the repubs are anti environment, and they prove their point by saying what do they have to offer, see them blocking this bill!

    This is hoe the NWO, wins the public heart with lies and stupid bills. It’s how we lose ever year for 2 decades in a row.

    It’s the same for women, poor, education, jobs, minimum wage. They play us like cheap fiddle. I’m so sick of losing. I’m so sick of being played by liars,thieves and crooks. Played by people who have no respect for our constitution.

    We need to write our own script instead od playing defense.

    Affordability, School Funding, Drugs – these would be on Vermonters minds.

    • An American Loving Democrat and a Conservative would sit down and say, Hey, is this a problem? If so how can we solve it? Biodegradable bags from corn? Surely there are many solutions to this problem.

      A NWO/Socialist, due to the fact they have no imagination and only want control will say, BAN plastic bags.

      A NWO/Socialist makes life difficult and expensive. Does this sound like Vermont? That’s because we have the NWO/Socialists hiding cover under the Democratic Party and setting the agenda for Vermont.

      This is the pattern, repeated over and over until…suddenly you wake up and realize I’m living in a different country! Gee, it’s feels a lot like Venezuela, a country with wonderful resources and natural beauty where the populace struggles and are put on the Maduro diet….

      When will we, Vermonters set our own script. If you are of the religious right, you know well how Jesus exposed the lying ruling class with their own words. If you are a fan of our President, Donald J. Trump, you know very well, he set the agenda. Despite the constant barrage of lies and accusations he is able to say the truth in a tweet that cuts through all the lies.

      Our President would not have the same game plan for Vermont, because Vermont is not like the rest of the country. Rest assured he would study, he would find the truth and post it. He would expose the Vermont lies for all to see. This is the course we need to take. We need to follow good examples, that doesn’t mean exact words and phrasing.

      It would be so nice to win. It would be so nice for truth to see day light in this state. Love, Joy and Peace, the beginnings of a new spirit for our state. May God open our eyes to the truths.

  5. Duncecap for the Dome-dwellers – our brainlessly clueless South Park-cloned feelgood fetishists – epic fail. Um…supermarkets have large drums to recycle them and they take all or any grocery/big or smallbox bags *facepalm*. So yeah lets use paper bags, cut down trees instead and send to the paper recycling sector of transfer station – sheesh.
    Happily bag my own – so this new feature is not personally a problem.

    In bag-friendly NH unlimited supply @ 3 cents/per. When it all goes south we can braid them for rope – and macrame for our plant-pots…and…possibilities are endless…

  6. Exactly,reuseable bags depending on the person they belong to can be one of the most unsanitary method for bagging groceries.
    I was in a grocery store recently and the woman in front of me throws five cloth reusable sacks up on the counter and the clerk grabbed them off the counter and put them in one of the bags that the ban would do away with.

    The Checker then used a cleaner where the customer had thrown her sacks on the counter and then changed the rubber gloves she had on and spoke to the indignant save the world customer,I could here the customer and she was berating the poor clerk, she assured her that she washed her bags two weeks ago and they were mostly clean.

    Where do these save the worlders get the idea of sanitary sense from, because their save the world reusables can be the most unsanitary method of packing off ones groceries.If they only had a brain.

    • Huh…I would have left groceries and reusable bags there and selfrighteous clerk to deal with an unecessary slap in my face…aka turn the other cheek much lol. People can be so stupid.

      • At my local supermarket last Saturday bagger sheepishly said “I’m not allowed to use your bags but you can – or I can bag them using plastic or paper’…said don’t worry big guy – I need the exercise lol – he laughed. These ppl are my nameless friends. We’re all victims of the system. What’s happened to us. Facpalm.

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