“If Patrick Henry thought that taxation without representation was bad, he should see how bad it is with representation.”

Farmer’s Almanac

Once again here in Maine the blame is shifted to the product rather than the user. I am talking about the plastic bags that most, if not all, stores in Maine use for our purchases. I, for one, always save those plastic bags to reuse. As usual, when elected officials at any level want to solve a problem, they, to put it as nicely as I can, look at the wrong end of the stream. I guess it’s nothing less than Forrest Gump’s one cannot fix stupid. If our state legislators could wake up and take a realistic look at things, they’d see the problem isn’t those plastics bags at all. It’s what the consumers without a clue whatsoever do with them.

I am pretty positive that Gov. Janet Mills will sign the so-called ban on plastic bags. By doing so, a 5-cent tax will be placed on any reusable plastic bag or paper bag given to a customer at a store in Maine. If the governor does sign that bill, she will place an additional tax on Mainers that she pledged that she wouldn’t. I would think that doing away with all plastic bags from stores makes more sense. The bags are claimed not to be reusable although most of us more than likely really reuse them. What I really find the most hilarious is that some plastic bags are recyclable and others aren’t just because of their thickness. I guess it’s kind of like the legislators that Mainers elected. How many of those do we recycle every two years?

I might as well go on about recycling because I have to wonder about the recycling process itself. What scares me is the fact that it just might be a joke. If towns really want to recycle, why do processing places like ecomaine have machinery that gets clogged by materials like plastic bags? We are constantly reminded that plastic bags are a problem and yet one of southern Maine’s largest recycling businesses doesn’t want them? It seems like they are missing the boat, which just might be why so many people complain about plastic bags blowing in the wind. Seems to me that we should be recycling each and every piece of trash that we can and if we aren’t, we don’t have the right resources in place.

If I’m complaining about trash and recyclable materials, another thing I have noticed is the amount of them that are blowing in the wind on the days that both are collected at our households. Maybe lids on containers would help, although that might slow down the pick-up times. Unfortunately, there are long stretches on Windham roads where litter is not picked up, and they’re not mowed either.

Lane Hiltunen of Windham collects litter of all types off his lawn every week. When will law enforcement catch the scofflaws that cause it?


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