Plastic Bags Blow

bag in tree Not original I know, but there you have it. Look people, this one is so easy, and we could all go around feeling so good about ourselves with such a tiny sacrifice. And why can’t we have a forward-thinking republican governor like Arnold Schwarzenegger who, according to several sources, is ready to sign into law an outright ban on plastic shopping bags once the measure passes the senate. So what is our own illustrious legislative history in the area of plastic bags?

Well, former Rhode Island House Majority leader Gerard Martineau remains in federal prison after pleading guilty to corruption charges involving his business relationships with CVS and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Prosecutors said the pharmacy and Martineau had a longstanding business relationship before 1999, with Martineau selling commodities to the company for a commission. After he formed Upland Group, he arranged to begin selling plastic and paper bags to the company, and between 1999 and the end of 2002, he received a total of $716,435 in commission payments on those sales.

Beginning in 1999, Martineau also billed the health insurance company for 10 million bags at $19,500 per million, though fewer than 2 million were ever manufactured. Of the $195,000 total, the insurer paid him $175,500 – all but the final invoice, for $19,500, that was submitted by Martineau in 2003, after he left the Assembly.

Kudos to U.S. District Court Judge Mary Lisi for allowing Mr. Martineau more time to contemplate the deleterious effects of polymers in the environment, and now our own General Assembly must start talking about an outright ban on plastic bags.

3 thoughts on “Plastic Bags Blow”

  1. Agreed. Ban. In the meantime, I was grateful to learn a simple trick from a vendor at the farmer’s market. If you’re not going to reuse the bag (it’s ripped, soiled, whatever) just twist it and tie it into a knot. Keeps it from going airborne and ending up in our trees and waterways.

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