Sad Result For Plastic Bag Ban
To the Editor:
Recently, the Legislative Council voted to repeal Newtown’s Plastic Bag Ordinance (2018) requiring a ten-cent charge on paper bags. This was a slap in the face to the Newtown Environmental Action Team (NEAT) and others who worked tirelessly on a common-sense ordinance as well as residents who supported it.
Subsequent to the Town’s ordinance, the State legislated a ban on plastic bags which was not as far-reaching as Newtown’s and did not include a requirement to charge for paper bags. The State legislation did not mandate that their bill should supersede Newtown’s so there was no good reason to repeal the Newtown ordinance. As many a speaker remarked, the Ordinance was not broken.
Discouraging the use of paper bags is important. Paper bags are costly to manufacture and the manufacturing process has a negative impact on the environment. Not to mention that these bags are often discarded after a single use. Trash doesn’t just magically disappear.
It has to be dealt with somewhere, even if not in Newtown.
All shoppers will likely bear the expense of paper bags taken, even when thoughtful enough to bring their own reusable bags. Some on the Council felt the Town was wrong to require stores to charge for paper. But what of the conscientious shoppers who will likely pay more for groceries because others take paper bags? Can retail stores really be expected to absorb these costs?
I thank the Council members who voted against repealing the Ordinance. Sadly, just one vote made the difference. A vote that clearly showed little consideration for the bigger picture.