New Jersey Bag Pan | AIER

New Jersey has banned plastic bags, paper bags and Styrofoam containers — yet its efforts to go green are backfiring. The The New York Times It was recently reported, with muted amusement, the “Unexpected Results for New Jersey Bag Pan: Too Many Bags”. And indeed, there is something comical about the statewide bag ban that leads to reality Avalanche For reusable bags collected in people’s homes, garages, and recycling bins:

The well-meaning law seeks to reduce waste and single-use plastic, but for many people who rely on grocery delivery and curbside transportation services, their orders now come in heavy-duty reusable shopping bags — lots and lots of them, week by week.

Lawmakers are confused. However, this complete failure is quite plainly predictable, and exemplifies not only the inability of repressive laws to fully influence the changes they seek, but also the tendency to It actually makes the problem worse. Friedrich Hayek, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, called it a murderous arrogance. Pride technocratic managers with coercive policy-making power believe that complex human behavior can be directed, like God, toward some higher ideal. The Garden State Experiment is a case of writing in the strict rule that unwise and unjust rules will fail without fail.

the main problem , times By implication, it was in lawmakers’ failure to account for the growing percentage (more than 6 percent) of people getting groceries online. “There’s clearly a bump in this, and we’re going to sort it out,” said New Jersey Senator Bob Smith, co-sponsor of a bill that made plastic disposables a public enemy. No, Bob, this isn’t just a “hiccup,” and you won’t “solve it.” This is an essential feature of virtue legislation. Heavy administrative mess Always It ends this way. It is not possible, as a rule, to persuade people to do the “right thing” by forcing them to do so. One reason is that free people resent the imposition and find creative solutions problematic (according to times, A “Mrs. Ryder” She stole plastic bags from local recycling bins to support her delivery service business). But most importantly. It is not at all clear what the “right thing” actually is. All too often, the optics of an issue don’t match up with reality, and unfortunately we are easily misled by stinging emotions. Politics, the fine art of turning optics into power, doesn’t help here. Lawmakers are all too willing, and even excited, to turn our misguided assumptions into “well-meaning” policies. The plastic crisis is a case in point. Things are simply not what they seem.

To start, plastic bags in particular aren’t as bad as we think. According to National Geographic, not known for its anti-environmental recycling, “…the main advantage of plastic bags is that, when compared to other types of shopping bags, it results in the lowest environmental cost.” The Danish Environmental Protection Agency made big, but seemingly short-lived, waves when it concluded that modest shopping bags (a variety of low-density polyethylene) “are the carriers that provide the least environmental impact overall”.

Danish bureaucrats have also reached a number of other counter-intuitive conclusions. Burning these bags has less environmental impact than recycling them. In a well-documented life cycle cost analysis, one of the worst Eco bag options are reusable organic cotton bags. Yes, even those with a green paper or editorial message on the tag. In fact, if we’re being honest in our overall calculations, the 20,000 “ego” bags must be reused to offset their effect. Even if you reuse your eco-bag twice a week (and don’t forget it half the time as I do), it can take 192 years for the bag to clear its eco-footprints. In New Jersey, where reusable bags are now piling up, they seem to prefer PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bags, which are kind of cool and hip-looking, but not green. It takes approximately 84 PET bag reuses to offset its effects, which means that “Mr. Otto, who has 101 of these bags now funnyly hidden in his lounge locker, must make 8,484 trips to the grocery store, or what That equates to about 80 years, before he personally can clean up his (unexpected) effect. That’s what it means to get things worst Through complacency legislation. Not only has the New Jersey law not drastically changed human behavior, but the virtuous proponents of banning bags have actually hobbled the planet with more environmental baggage. It would be comical if it weren’t so sad.

Few things are more bleak than a bag in a puddle or a styrofoam cup in a gutter, blown in the wind, ripped apart and gathering in alleys. But disliking them aesthetically is not a proper justification for banning them. We are better off managing issues related to proper garbage collection and effective cleaning, especially When the broader environmental costs of banning plastic are harming the environment, we pretend we’re “saving.” The best environmental behavior, as far as we can rationally say, is to reuse those awful plastic bags we hate as many times as possible. This is why ‘hate’, like ‘love’, is not enough to build politics on. We must have our wits about us if we are to guide a wise path.

This brawl is just another in a long line of examples that justify the founding principles of limited government. Not only do intrusive regulators disturb and constrain freedom-loving individuals, they are Never get it right. Constantly striving to strike some “optimal” balance between competing demands, policymakers (who have no magic vision) are always chasing drooping fruit, the hot topic on any given day that irritates voters. When we allow state power to descend into the essentials of everyday life, such as the kind of container a business can transport its products into, we see “murderous vanity” manifested in the most awful and counterproductive ways. Perhaps, since it seems intent on paving its way to Hell, New Jersey can make up for itself by forcing the use of, say, organic hand baskets. At least that way people will have a place to hide all their good intentions.

Paul Schwensen

Paul Schwensen is completing his PhD thesis in Environmental History and the Hispanic Conquest of the Arizona/New Mexico Borderlands. He holds a master’s degree in government from Harvard University and degrees in history and science from the United States Air Force Academy.

He is a regular contributor to the Center for Property and Environmental Research and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, American Spectator, Claremont Review, and in Textbooks on Environmental Ethics (Oxford and McGraw-Hill University Press). He is the father of, and most importantly, three delightful children.

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