Weak Plastic Bag Legislation In Congress

Want to reduce America’s dependence on dirty, risky offshore drilling for petroleum? One way to work in that direction is to reduce use of disposable plastic shopping bags. Most

To that end, Representative James Moran introduced H.R. 2091, the Plastic Bag Reduction Act last year. The legislation, if passed, would have created a 5 cent tax on every plastic bag given out by stores – an incentive for people to choose reusable shopping bags. Sadly, Moran’s bill has not moved forward out of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, and has not received even one signature co-sponsorship.

Nita Lowey didn’t cosponsor the Plastic Bag Reduction Act. She withheld her support.

Yet, at the end of last week, Lowey introduced her own legislation on the subject. She offered H. Res. 1506, A resolution encouraging State and local governments to establish plastic bag recycling programs. The resolution notes that Americans use about 100 billion plastic bags every year, but only 0.6 percent of them are recycled.

H. Res 1506 talks about a serious problem, all right, but H. Res 1506 is just a resolution. It doesn’t actually create any law, or provide any funds to do anything. It’s essentially a congressional press release, expressing an opinion. It’s just words.

So, Nita Lowey thinks state and local governments should establish plastic bag recycling programs, but she wasn’t willing herself to support legislation to reduce the problem of plastic bag waste. That’s chutzpah for you. Why should state and local governments listen to Representative Lowey, when she’s not willing to take action herself?

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