Returning for the winter, we snowbirds were surprised to see the recycling program in tatters. It appears the county is paying more for less results.

Opponents of “big government” should recognize that sometimes commerce needs to be regulated for the common good. If what you are producing is not recyclable, then a new standard or practice is required. Consumer packaging now relegated to the garbage will harm the environment in many ways. The vast islands of plastic in the sea and along roadsides will be joined by mounds of plastic trash in our own communities.

The only positive outcome from this practice will be an elevated landscape that creatures can seek out when the sea level rises from the non-existing climate change. This change seems in step with the current political landscape that is rolling back initiatives that protect the environment in favor of commerce and profit motives.

If you engage in public enterprise, the first rule is you cannot do public harm. Corporate America will not willingly embrace this stricture. That rule will only come from citizens who, constitutionally, should be in charge of governing our nation.

Dan W. Brasier, Lakeland