If you walk the streets for exercise as I do, chances are you've seen them in the gutter.  Or on the sidewalks.  Especially in parking lots where there are liquor stores.  I am talking about those plastic nip bottles designed to hold a shots worth of your favorite booze.

There is no doubt that the nip is a quick and convenient way to sneak a hit while you are driving and then "poof" out the window goes the evidence.  Judging by the shear numbers of these things littering our city streets there must be a whole lot of nipping going on.

The fact that so many folks are popping a nip while driving is disturbing enough.  But, the ease at which they toss their containers on the ground is upsetting too.  Nips and scratch tickets.  They are everywhere.  Says a lot about a community doesn't it?

Short of banning the nip there is little we can do about the sneaky drinkers. But, there is something we can do about their littering habits.  Several state lawmakers have filed legislation that would charge a 5-cent deposit on nip bottles.  The empty nip bottles would be returned for a nickel.  A legislative committee heard testimony on the bills last week.

While efforts to expand the current bottle deposit law to include water and juice bottles has been met with resistance I think the nip deposit is worth considering.

The day before trash day in my neighborhood finds scavengers digging through trash bins in search of cans and bottles that can be exchanged for a nickel each.  I suspect the same entrepreneurs would be only too happy to clean the nip bottles from the  streets along the way.

It won't in any way impact the nipping while driving problem, but imposing a nickel deposit on the nip bottles would at least lead to cleaner streets.  I'm all for it.

Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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