Boston's just too nippy, councilor says; calls for a ban on the sale of micro booze bottles
City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo (Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale) says it's past time to outlaw the sale of tiny booze bottles in Boston, both because they make it too easy for alcoholics to get a quick fix and because they trash up city streets.
Arroyo will formally ask the city council to let him begin drafting an ordinance to ban nip sales in Boston at its Wednesday meeting.
He said that a nip ban in Chelsea led to both cleaner streets and less public drunkenness. And he pointed to a 2021 effort by Hyde Park residents to rid their streets of the 100-ml bottles - in just two months, they collected 10,000 of the things, which he said cannot be recycled due to their size.
In recent years, the Boston Licensing Board has insisted on no-nips provisions in licenses for new liquor stores, but that still leaves plenty of older stores at which to buy the bottles. The board has also banned new stores from selling single bottles or cans of beer.
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Nips are all around pretty
Nips are all around pretty gross but instead of banning them in Boston, we should be putting a deposit on the bottles statewide. The bottle bill is pushing fifty. It's been brought up before. Choose the right tool for the job.
And while they're at it, regulate cannabis containers, too. Those things are way out of control.
You want to pay people for
You want to pay people for buying single use plastic? Lol. Just get rid of them they’re a scourge
Isn't the idea behind the
Isn't the idea behind the bottle bill that those bottles will all get recycled? It's also possible now that there's mixed-stream recycling in a lot more places that if they touch the bottle bill they'll start getting a push to get rid of it, which is definitely going to end up with a lot more bottles in landfills.
Ban them to reduce visible
Ban them to reduce visible signs of addiction and littering…Seems like the same argument could be applied to cigarettes, no?
As well as syringes and
As well as syringes and condoms.
Both syringes and condoms serve a valid health-related purpose. Neither alcohol nor tobacco do that. But you knew that when you posted.
That's no argument for improper disposal, but hey, I'm not the one who conflated those two things.
Then why unlike nips, are
Then why unlike nips, are they considered HAZMAT when left on sidewalks or playgrounds?
...you support banning syringes and condoms, then? So that no one can purchase them?
Try to follow along.
Bios should be Hazmat too. You could pick up body fluid born pathogens, disease from.discarded nip.
We banned menthols in 2021,
We banned menthols in 2021, let's finish the job. They said it was to stop kids from smoking, well guess what they're smoking now that they can't a pack of Newports.
Nips "trash up city streets"? How about scratch tickets and cigarette butts? If we're calling for the ban of things, lets include those, both at least as equally addictive as alcohol. And I inexplicably see more and more of those dental floss picks on the ground everywhere. What's up with those?
I think there should be a deposit for them too. Call it a "2nd chance" game where you can bring the card back for a chance to win the cost of the ticket.
Here's a plan
Fill a truck with used scratchies, and Storrow it.
They did this once... My
They did this once... My great uncle would go pick up tickets at the local store parking lot and send them in for chances to win. For every X number you got a chance to win and a t-shirt. Then they did drawings. I think he won a truck and a bag of cash out of the deal. Not bad considering he didn't have to buy a single ticket.
I think the lottery should be required to do this all the time. Even if people are horrible and throw them on the ground someone like my great uncle will come around every day and pick them up. He was the sort of guy who prob was walking around cleaning the neighborhood up anyway so for him it was a great deal. Plus everyone in the family had free tshirts lol
I don't see cigarette butts any more
There used to be whole drifts of them up against the cub in some places, but it's rare to see them now. I know that a lot of smokers still chuck 'em on the ground because they don't give a shit about anyone else, but there are few enough smokers now that the butts don't really build up.
Well. I'm sure it depends on where you live, exactly, but overall there has been a *vast* reduction in the number of butts.
Scratch tickets, disposable flossers, and nips are all things I see more often.
How about banning Dunks?
The city is literally PILED with Dunks litter... No talk about banning them though right?
Arroyo in Big Flask's pocket?
When I lived in Allston, the liquor store at the intersection of Brighton Ave and Cambridge St sold nips of jack cheaper (per ml) than the 250mil bottles of jack. My friends had a bowl of nips on their porch, and summer meant sitting on that porch sharing nips, except when it meant picking up an oversized slice at La Befana plus a nip or two, and sitting out at Ringer Park watching dogs play. Every part of that except the pizza was illegal, down to the dogs on the baseball diamond. Well, I'm old enough now nips hold nothing for me; it's time to pull up the ladder. Guess future Allston kids will have to pocket big flasks.
I must be younger than you
because when I lived in Allston people used to just dump booze in their Nalgene. With a 32 oz volume it's way better than a flask.
Nalgenes come in all sizes, including nip size. And Borg.
Leave the nips alone.
First they came for Janet Jackson, now they're coming for these.
There should be a deposit for them
Along with non-carbonated beverage containers.
This is the right answer
and if you want to modestly reduce consumption, make the deposit higher than soda bottles, maybe 50 cents?
increasing taxes on alcohol
always works, especially in Massachusetts.
This is the wrong answer
The bottle bill made a lot of sense in the 1970s 80s and 90s but today it's a waste. Back then, if you wanted to recycle your Veryfine bottles you had to drive them 20 miles on a Saturday morning to a recycling event in Brockton. Today, most places have curbside recycling. All your glass, aluminum, and PET beverage containers should go into that stream.
The bottle bill needs to be repealed not expanded. The only thing stopping that is state government officials being addicted to the billions of nickels they get to keep from unredeemed deposits.
If they truly can't be recycled
isn't that just causing the city or whoever to accumulate huge amounts of trash? Still better than nothing, but I'm not sure that it's a great long-term fix.
I'm curious about that
What about them, if anything, makes them unrecyclable?
There's a 5c deposit for them in CT.
Tax, not deposit
In CT the nip nickel is collected by beverage distributors and given to the town in which the nips were sold. Towns and municipalities are supposed to use this money for litter mitigation, but, you know, sometimes they spend it on other stuff. Nip bottles are not redeemable in CT. https://www.ctinsider.com/hartford/article/Millions-of-nips-sold-in-CT-c...
More information comparing deposit laws in different states can be found at www.bottlebill.org including what percentage of bottles sold are subject to tax/redepemption and an what percentage of bottles are actually redeemed. We’re doing much worse that CT.
They're too small to be
They're too small to be processed by the machines. True of recycling in general--if folks throw things that are smaller/narrower than a credit card in their blue bins, it's fruitless: they're going to fall through the machines.
I've heard that really small stuff is a problem for the sorters.
They are too small and fall through the sorting holes. The same applies to prescription pill bottles. Which makes disposal more tricky because they contain sensitive medical information.
If the recycling industry seriously wanted to, they would solve this problem. Just like if they wanted to, they would solve their problem with styrofoam.
And the only reason they'd
And the only reason they'd want to do solve those problems would be financial incentive. It should cost companies more to produce unrecyclable toxic waste.
Tell me about it
I scrape the labels off mine and burn them. Paranoid? Maybe, but...
No Just no
No. Just No. This is a tax.
Most liquor stores have 'limits' on how many cans/bottles you can return. Even the bigger places like Kappys in Medford.. I swear the bottle room is closed more often that its open.
I gave up returning beer cans and now just leave them seperate bag, neatly in my recycle bin so the recyclers who come by overnight on trash day will take them for me. They just too hard to try to return now. Especially when I do not have a car. I went over to Kappys 4x to return this pile of bottles in boxes, and I gave up after the 4th attempt.
These folks do not want to deal with the bottles and what not, and make it harder and harder to do so.
Even the soda bottles are harder to return. Stop & Shop's machine(s) are almost always out of order and good luck getting a live person to come and fix it. The only place I find that maintains their machines well is Market Basket.
But I can't blame Stop & Shop, its a loosing battle. Their employee's time and the store's floor space they give up to maintain these machines. They do not keep the 5cents, so they operate at a negative loss.
And then you have the Malden Stop & Shop which does take beer bottles and cans, and you have swarms of people with shopping carts full of bags of returnables spending hours at a time in front of a machine inserting all of them. Friend who used to work there said that on the weekends they pretty much have someone 'on duty' just to fix those machines. What a losing battle for the store. (yeah I dislike Aholid USA much, but this IS a cost center for the store, and of course, they will pass this cost onto the consumer)
I get your point, it does help eliminate trash and I know I'm tired of seeing water bottles everywhere but I don't think this will help all that much in the long run. There has to be a better way.
And a ban on nips would help. Although what happened here in Chelsealand is that the alcoholics move up to the next size up which is only a few dollars more. Which now, those bottles are the ones you see in the gutter now.
If it is a tax
seems like a heavy enough tax would effectively reduce the number of these sold in the area, right?
No to nips!
I live around the corner from a liquor store, and would welcome this. I also support an expansion of the bottle bill to cover ALL beverage bottles and cans.
Can we ban popcorn and chicken wings on T?
The MBTA banned popcorn *vendors* a decade or two ago
There used to be one on the Green Line level of Government Center. He did not return after the station closed for reconstruction and reopened.
I loved the Gov' t Center popcorn guy! That was always my treat as a kid after running errands with mom.
That tiny Dunks
...in the middle of the platform was great. I would sometimes take the T there to grab a coffee and donut and then just jump back on an outbound train to park st so I wouldn't need to stop topside for coffee on way to Kendall (before there was one in Kendall)
Use of nips
A few times I've needed things for baking or bought a nip or two of baileys for mixed drinks at home instead of buying a whole large container due to space issues or if I was just trying something else so there are some real legit uses for them.
However, in more than one locale around Boston, I've seen nips in the gutter / street etc outside of the trash cash too within 20 feet of a liquor store. As someone who went to school in Boston and has kids who go to school here too, I am struggling to think if I ever knew or saw any of my fellow students chugging a nip and tossing it into the street, and don't ever think so. Usually it was adding vodka from the bottle in your dorm to the Snapple lemonade or iced tea.
In terms of trash volume, just walking through the back bay or Fenway on a Sat or Sunday evening, trash is overfull with coffee and tea cuts from all manner of places, so maybe the solution is
1) More frequent trash pickups
2) Bigger garbage cans
3) Offering a bigger discount for bringing your own cup / bottle (like 50 cents) - that would even be a great thing for the city to impose on large chains, but I am sure the same people who wouldn't mask or flew into a blind rage about red Starbucks holiday cups wouldn't go for it
4) Identify the actual problem - eg is substance abuse, college kids being slobs, homeless people buying booze over feed, etc.
I don't much care about whether alcoholics can get a quick fix
but banning nip bottles would be a pretty silly way to fight our society's huge problems with alcoholism.
The fact that the small, disposable, non-recyclable containers have an obvious track record of being tossed onto the sidewalk, though? Seems like an easy call.
Deposit seems reasonable
I can't stand seeing these all over. I wouldn't mind a 10 cent deposit on these things.
I love buying single beers because once I'm finished, I'm physically out of alcohol. I don't want the City to force me to buy more beer than I want.
My brother, who became very
My brother, who became very alcoholic during the pandemic and is struggling in treatment now, used nips because they could be hidden easily. He probably contributed to the HP nip problem. He was also broke and had food stamps, so he would get vanilla extract. Nips and scratch tickets were a great yankee swap gift.
At one point, the state had a program where if you brought back scratch tickets, you got new ones or something like that. I remember being at Earthfest, way back in 2008 or so, and you saw a lot of people in line with boxes and boxes on dollies for the Lottery booth at their little booth area,
So the Councilor wants low
So the Councilor wants low income alcoholics who buy nips because they can’t afford the bigger bottles that higher income alcoholics can, be put in danger of delirium tremens and death?
The high income drinkers might possibly be more likely not to litter but on a whole, I think the affluent create more trash we pay to have hauled to the landfills than the poor.
I see way more cigarette butts littering Boston’s streets than nip bottles, dog poop, etc.
If the aim is truly to reduce litter along with fire hazards, toxic fumes and such, crack down on obnoxious smokers first, Councilor.