Back in April of 2022 the City of Albuquerque (thankfully) ended its absurd and ecologically-harmful plastic bag mandate. Now, Democrats in the New Mexico Legislature are pushing legislation (SB 243) that would impose a statewide plastic bag ban. The bill heads to Senate Tax Business and Transportation Committee.
There is simply no justification for such onerous regulation. Even National Public Radio covered the issue in 2019 asking, “Are plastic bag bans garbage?” As NPR noted (of a bag ban study):
Bag bans did what they were supposed to: People in the cities with the bans used fewer plastic bags, which led to about 40 million fewer pounds of plastic trash per year. But people who used to reuse their shopping bags for other purposes, like picking up dog poop or lining trash bins, still needed bags. “What I found was that sales of garbage bags actually skyrocketed after plastic grocery bags were banned,” she says. This was particularly the case for small, 4-gallon bags, which saw a 120 percent increase in sales after bans went into effect.
8 Replies to “NM’s left-leaning Legislature is coming for your plastic bags”
Something must be done to eliminate the abundance of single use plastic bags strewn along paved roads throughout NewMexico. Bags are hanging from shrubs and vegetation, flapping in the wind until they finally break up into thousands of small pieces of plastic, contributing to the micro plastics problem. If the ban is not the right option, then state officials need to work together to find an acceptable solution.
I’m very much against litter and have driven New Mexico’s highways and byways as much as anyone. I can tell you from that experience that if we banned everything that was littered we wouldn’t have much left. I too wish people were more responsible and find litter abhorrent. A ban on one particular material is not going to solve or even put a dent in our litter problem.
You say you find litter abhorrent, but you proposing to do nothing to control it – that’s pretty lame! As I walk around my neighborhood in RR on a daily basis I see plastic grocery bags, liquor bottles, and fast food wrappers (in no particular order of abundance). It seems to me we need to start somewhere in reducing litter and plastic grocery bags would be the easiest thing to go for first then go after the next thing – one bite at a time.
What is your real issue with this? Man up and do the right thing.
I hate to break it to you but there are problems that government has limited ability to solve. Perhaps some anti-littering ad campaigns would help? To be clear, littering is far less of a problem than it was in the 70s an 80s. It is STILL a problem in a lot of poorer countries that I’ve been to.
Government isn’t going to solve a problem that results from people’s parents not raising them right.
Maybe if people in New Mexico were more respectful of their environment……
The bags aren’t the problem. The people are.
I and a lot of people use these bags for multiple jobs around the house. If I didn’t have them I would have to buy something else to help me. I use them to catch peeling from potatoes, cleaning after my dogs, as can liners for my small trash cans, in my car to catch trash, etc. Then they go into the trash bin.
The problem is not specifically plastic bags, it’s litter in general. NM has a cultural litter problem as compared to other states. I drive I-25 from Valencia County to ABQ and several months ago there was a targeted litter cleanup along the freeway down to at least Belen where I exit, and I’ll be generous here when I say within 2 weeks it could not be determined it ever occurred, and it wasn’t Walmart bags along the road. Each week when I put out my rollout cart I police the road in front of my property and it’s typically–each week–beer cans, liquor bottles, McDonald’s bags, etc. Rare do I have the luck of a plastic bag to contain all the other litter I pick up. Every week I have to pick up something! This County, this State, is a dump. Look, we all roll out our carts full of trash each week and what is in my cart is none of anyone’s business. If someone’s cart has this but not that, then good for them, but don’t have government yet again attempt to control some aspect of my life because there’s guilt about what’s other people’s roll out cart.