Majority oppose allowing towns to regulate plastic bags

Jan 16, 2017

Rep. Christy Bartlett is sponsoring a 2017 bill, HB 481, that would allow towns to either prohibit the distribution of plastic shopping bags or require retailers to collect a charge for plastic shopping bags. Right now towns are not allowed to regulate disposable plastic shopping bags. Read more about this issue here. On January 16, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should NH towns be allowed to regulate plastic shopping bags?”

“Should NH towns be allowed to regulate plastic shopping bags?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Plastic Bag Regulation New Hampshire Citizen Voices Chart


A total of 93% of those participating gave a ‘yes or no’ response to the question. The remaining 7% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a ‘yes or no’ response. In total, 214 individuals from New Hampshire contributed a total of 514 responses or reactions to this question. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

No: A majority, at 68% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were opposed to allowing towns to regulate plastic shopping bags.

  • “If the grocery stores want, they can stop offering them. A law isn’t needed.”
  • “No. Plastic shopping bags are partially responsible for reducing foodborne illnesses purely because they are disposable.”
  • “We all recycle. We don’t need more laws to help us.”

Yes:   The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 32%, were opposed to allowing qualifying patients to grow their own medicinal marijuana.

  • “Having traveled to Europe where this is the norm, this is something that I could get behind.”
  • “If enough people in any given town are smart enough to understand the devastating effects our irresponsible use of plastic has on the planet, then their vote should be able to deny the wasteful use of plastic in these bags.”
  • “Sometimes people need a push in the right direction. We use far too many plastic bags.”

Other: As noted above, 7% of those participating did not give a ‘yes or no’ response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues.

  • Alternatives to plastic bags: “If one chooses to go green, consider hemp.”
  • Other policy suggestions: “The state should regulate this, not [the] towns.”
  • Related issues: “How about all the plastic trash bags we all put out for garbage collection?”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 


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Related Bill

HB 481 (2017)
Bill Status: Killed in the House
Hearing date: Feb 01, 2017


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