A step in the right direction

On March 8, the New Hampshire House Commerce Committee votes on HB 560, a bill that goes a long way in addressing the wasteful proliferation of plastic bags in our state.

New Hampshire is the only east coast state from Maine to Washington, D.C., that has not enacted a ban. Plastic shopping bags end up in all the wrong places, costing money, damaging the environment and harming wildlife.

The average shopper uses 15 plastic bags per grocery store visit, and once home, throws away the bag; the average use of a plastic shopping bag is 12 minutes. HB 560 restricts the distribution of plastic shopping bags at the point of sale at retail establishments in New Hampshire.

The bill has no downside! In the thousands of communities that have banned plastic bags throughout the U.S., not one company has gone out of business; not one company has experienced financial difficulties; not one company laid off employees; not one company has lost customers.

And there are inexpensive, readily available alternatives for customers who reuse a few of the bags. It is time we join the wave of public sentiment and do our part to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags. Like the signs in the entrances to Hannaford Supermarkets remind us “STOP, Did you remember your REUSABLE BAGS?” Contact your New Hampshire House rep and let them know you support HB 560.