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Stonington holds hearing Tuesday on plastic bag and straw ban

November 13, 2018

Stonington -- The Plastic Bags and Straws Ad Hoc Committee will hold a public hearing Tuesday night to discuss a proposed ordinance aimed at reducing plastic waste and its effect on the marine environment.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Stonington High School commons.

The Board of Selectmen formed the committee earlier this year after a group of residents urged the town to consider banning single-use plastic bags such as those used by supermarkets as well as plastic straws to address the increasing problem of discarded plastic in marine waters.

Committee Chairwoman Moira Deasy said Monday that the committee will recommend the town ban the single-use bags and straws.

She said the committee is calling for a six-month period between adoption of the ordinance by voters and its implementation to give businesses a chance to use up their stock and to educate residents about the change. She said a number of organizations have already said they would donate funds toward the purchase of reusable bags for residents who might otherwise have trouble paying for them.

While the ordinance calls for a ban on plastic straws it would allow them to keep the plastic variety on hand for patrons who may request them. This could be due to a possible medical issue. Deasy said a number of restaurants in town are already using paper straws.

Deasy said the committee has representatives from all sections of the community including businesses and looked at similar ordinance in other municipalities such as Newport, R.I., where she said there have been no problems with it.

“We don’t think anyone living in this beautiful coastal community wants to see it harmed in any way,” she said. “We’re trying to create a culture that’s mindful of our ocean location.”

After Tuesday’s hearing, the committee will file its final report with the selectmen which will then decide whether to send the proposed ordinance to a town meeting vote.

 

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