CONCORD – House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued statements relative to a series of bills that have hearings before the House Commerce committee on Thursday.

HB 1194, establishing a surcharge for certain single use plastics. 

“This is just another effort by Democrats to force businesses to nickel and dime consumers,” Hinch said, ”Last year we labeled similar bills as a bag tax. This is nothing more than a bag and cup tax. My concern is how many more aspects of daily life in New Hampshire will Democrats want to mandate or add a fee to. Will we see a bottle deposit and solo cup fee next?”

HB 1472, restricting the distribution of plastic straws. 

“This is the same overreaching bill that House Democrats passed last year, which died in the Senate,” Hinch said, ”Requiring businesses to not offer straws unless the consumer specifically asks is a ridiculous mandate. Not even California’s straw law goes as far as this bill does. If there ever was a straw that breaks the camel’s back, this type of nitpicking legislation just might be it.”

HB 1564-FN, prohibiting the use of polystyrene foam. 

“Businesses have been transitioning away from polystyrene on their own and don’t need the government to come in and regulate them. Consumers should be able to decide if they want to do business with an establishment, and if they are against foam, they can go elsewhere,” Hinch said, “If you don’t want your Puritan chicken tenders in a polystyrene container, go down the road to the other chicken tender place, and maybe the Puritan will get the message. Polystyrene waste is a tiny and dwindling portion of our overall wastestream, and we should be concentrating on tackling more important issues.”

HB 1508, relative to paper receipts.

“If this bill’s goal is to reduce paper waste, I have a recommendation. Democrats should stop filing all of these bills that will go nowhere,” Hinch said, ”We’ve seen a litany of bills seeking to reduce waste this term, but the only waste I see too much of is wasting our time with these bills and the paper they are printed on.”