WBUR

Mass. Lawmakers Target Plastic Bags

BOSTON — Non-biodegradable plastic shopping bags may soon be history in Massachusetts.

Plastic bag opponents say the products are made of materials that damage the environment. On Wednesday, Brookline residents overwhelmingly approved a ban on the bags in a town meeting. Nantucket, the only other Massachusetts community with a ban, outlawed plastic bags in 1990.

State Rep. Lori Ehrlich, co-sponsor of a bill that would take that ban statewide, hopes the Brookline vote will build “momentum” for the cause.

“It’s time we move on from that mindset where everything is just single-use and disposable,” Ehrlich said. “Even if it’s used a second time, it still has a severe, and growing, impact on the world.”

No state has banned the bags outright, though many have restrictions on them. Ehrlich says the proposed Massachusetts legislation could be a model for similar measures nationwide.

Representative of state retailers and the food industry say the bags’ dangers are overstated and solutions to replace them come with their own problems. They said people also like the bags because they’re convenient, cheap, waterproof and durable and want to keep using them.

“Consumers like choice, and most consumers don’t like being told by someone else what’s best for them,” said Bill Rennie, vice president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.

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  • Aaronrosere

    the liberals want to control everything in our lives except drugs and sex !!

  • Alexanderwanda

    Why don’t the switch to bio-degradable plastic bags that can be composted?  Problem solved

  • Erica Blair

    I do most of my grocery shopping in NH and I always recycle plastic bags, so it won’t affect those of us who live adjacent to the border of sanity.

    This ban is just another ridiculous example of nanny state over-reach. Why don’t the craven fools in government start taking on real problems such as the mob control of state governments and the graft and corruption within them? Ridding our state payrolls of many do-nothing state employees that we subsidize and pay pensions for would save us $ millions that could be used for environmental causes.

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