Congress has a new plastics control bill to consider. As reported by the National Review, the Protecting Communities from Plastics Act was introduced on December 1, 2022. Here’s hoping the bill fails to make it through. Here is hoping that it never sees the light of day.
Like other bills ostensibly designed to reduce America’s dependence on plastic as a manufacturing material, it will accomplish very little if it becomes law. At least very little we could consider positive. Most of its effects would be negative and, in the long run, not do anything worthwhile.
The impetus behind the bill is our national panic over single-use plastics. To pay attention to news reports, you would think America has lost is collective mind over things like plastic water bottles, food containers, and drinking straws. And in our self-induced state of delusion, who do we blame? Manufacturers.
Allowing the bill to become law will mean reams of new regulations aimed at controlling the chemicals used to manufacture plastics and forcing manufacturers to reduce the volume of plastics they produce. Does that sound reasonable to you? If so, are you prepared to suffer the consequences?
Prepare to pay more – a lot more, in fact – on every trip to the grocery store. Prepare to pay more every time you order take out. Expect the food you have delivered to your front door to no longer be hot. Expect the cost of paper goods to skyrocket.
You cannot eliminate single-use plastics without disrupting the market. Every disruption comes at a cost. And the reality is that, if the bill becomes law, the same people complaining about single-use plastics today will be complaining about the unintended consequences of them tomorrow.
There are plenty of examples we can look at to see what will happen if Congress passes their latest plastic control bill. One of the most glaring is the push for electric vehicles (EVs). It sounds so magical and wonderful to replace the internal combustion engine with battery power. If we can just get all those polluting cars off the road, we can save the planet.
If you believe that, where do you think the electricity to charge those batteries will come from? It will come from burning fossil fuels. There are not enough windmills and solar panels in the world to produce the necessary electricity. Not only that, but we could also never build enough. Renewable energy doesn’t cut it.
As an added bonus, where do you think all the lithium required to build EV batteries comes from? It is mined from countries whose natural environments are being raped in an effort to satisfy the West’s insatiable desire to make itself feel better by driving battery-operated cars.
If we do have a legitimate problem with single-use plastics, the plastics themselves are not the problem. Neither are manufacturers. The problem is the consumer who is too lazy to recycle the right way.
Seraphim Plastics is one of dozens of companies around the country that successfully recycles industrial plastic waste. They do so efficiently and at a profit. The fact that they do is proof that plastic recycling is both possible and effective.
We could do the exact same thing with single-use plastics if consumers were willing to put forth the effort. But we aren’t. Instead, we would rather petition Congress to pass a foolish bill that will ultimately come back to bite us down the road. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen. The Protecting Communities from Plastics Act is a disaster waiting to happen.