Plastic Bag Ban Hearing Scheduled for Tonight

plastic bag banIf approved, the ban would make Cambridge the largest city on the East Coast to outlaw the use of plastic checkout bags.

Cambridge City Council has been considering a plastic bag ban for more than seven years, ever since an April 30, 2007 policy order. A vote on the proposed ban was scheduled to take place at a December 15 hearing, but was postponed so that City Council could consider amendments to the bill as well as an alternate version which was introduced in October.

The ordinance committee will take up the matter again at a meeting tonight. At 5:30 in the Sullivan Chamber at City Hall, councillors will discuss the second version of the bill and all proposed amendments. If approved, the ban would make Cambridge the largest city on the East Coast to outlaw the use of plastic checkout bags.

In a post published yesterday on the City Council blog, councillor Dennis Carlone explained the reasons behind this lengthy process and thanked the hundreds of citizens who wrote to the council in December to voice their support of a bill eliminating plastic bags. He also drove home the initial rationale behind the ban.

“…It’s also important to reaffirm the reason for the bag ban: single-use plastic checkout bags are typically made from a polyethylene that is not biodegradable,” Carlone wrote. “Instead, the bags break into small pieces, called microplastics, which are consumed by animals and litter the ground. The bags have been shown to release toxins into the soil and water, threatening the food chain and presenting danger to both humans and animals.”

All concerned Cambridge citizens are welcome to attend tonight’s hearing, as the council will be hearing public comments. Unable to attend but still interested in sharing your two cents about the proposed ban? Send an email to council@cambridgema.gov and City Clerk dlopez@cambridgema.gov, and your comments will be included in the official record.

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