Council shortsighted on plastic bag issue | AspenTimes.com

Council shortsighted on plastic bag issue

Dear Editor:

Once again our elected officials are bending to perceived urgency and considering banning or taxing plastic grocery bags. They are guilty of not thinking on a larger, wider scale and simultaneously not looking on a small scale to avoid unintended consequences. In short, as is their want, incomplete consideration of the entire issue while focusing myopically on one facet.

Not thinking small enough – The city freely provides plastic bags so people walking their dogs can scoop and properly dispose of the poop – a clear single use of a plastic bag. Query: Will the city now dispense those bags a dime at a time, i.e. a poop tax?

Not thinking big enough – Those bags and other plastic (bottles, detergent containers, etc.) are actually a good source of fuel for burning. While Aspen does not burn its trash, many “green” countries in Europe do as an alternative to oil to generate steam for electricity generation. If our elected officials were really serious about conservation and had a modicum of vision they would consider recycling all of the trash for power generation.

Instead we have already been misled into an ill-conceived hydroelectric scheme that will certainly be tied up for years. This plastic bag issue has the potential to follow suit as well intentioned but thoroughly bungled.

Members of the City Council, time to get your heads “out of the bag” and see both the big and small pictures.

Neil B. Siegel

Aspen


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