Letters to the Editor

Thoughts on bottles and cans

Dec 20 2020, 1:06 PM

With regard to recycling containers having the material grouped together with similar will help, when uses for the recycled material are found: I travel many rural roads in Vermont and see high numbers of bottles and cans discarded roadside, especially alcoholic drinks, most especially in Huntington. 

I wonder if Vermont’s “open container” law encourages more littering of said containers? Does this law do less to discourage drinking while driving and more to encourage littering? I wonder if those drinking behind the wheel think the chances of detection are lower if they dispose of the visible evidence quickly when police are not present? 

I have read that ultimately other tools — such as breathalyzers, reports of erratic driving, and other visual signals — are ultimately what counts in court. I have personally observed some cases where people were hesitant to clean up alcohol containers after a gathering and put them in their car for fear of a routine traffic stop.

I am not suggesting that such fears are logical. We keep seeing that the prohibition of specific objects continues to fail. Determined drinkers can easily decant their alcohol into other containers or mask their containers in other ways, so why so much emphasis on the container itself as opposed to the bloodstream of the operator? Finding ways to encourage people to put them in proper receptacles will benefit the efforts, I think.

Roxy Bombardier