retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Content Guy’s Note: Stories in this section are, in my estimation, important and relevant to business. However, they are relegated to this slot because some MNB readers have made clear that they prefer a politics-free MNB; I can't do that because sometimes the news calls out for coverage and commentary, but at least I can make it easy for folks to skip it if they so desire.

The New York Times reports that Sen. Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-California,) are introducing in to their respective houses of the US Congress legislation that would make plastics manufacturers " financially responsible" for dealing with the waste their products create.

It is, the Times writes, "one of the most aggressive, sweeping attempts to hold the plastics industry, beverage makers and other companies financially responsible" for their garbage. 

"The legislation includes measures that the sponsors argue will increase the nation’s meager recycling rates, such as a national 'bottle bill' that would incentivize people to return their empty soda and water bottles by providing a 10 cent refund for each bottle. It would also require companies that produce and sell food service and plastic packaging to pay for the waste collection, a burden that now falls primarily on taxpayers."

The Times notes that "the so-called Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act is a long shot, with no Republican co-sponsors and several provisions that seem sure to be nonstarters in an election year. But the legislative effort at the federal level, even if a politically unrealistic one, shows the growing sway of environmental groups that have pushed to stem the flow of plastic waste into the ocean."