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Newton considers ban on plastic stirrers, polystyrene food containers

Newton city councilors are considering a ban on restaurants using disposable plastic stirrers and polystyrene food containers as part of an effort to eliminate single-use nonbiodegradable plastics from the waste stream.

The Sustainable Food Containers and Packaging ordinance was approved by the City Council’s Finance Committee on Monday night and is expected to go before the City Council on Tuesday, April 16, said Alison Leary, a councilor-at-large representing Ward 1.

If approved, the measure also would ban retailers from selling or distributing disposable food containers made from polystyrene foam, and ban selling or distributing foam polystyrene packing material, Leary said.

The proposal was docketed by city councilors Victoria Danberg, Susan Albright, Emily Norton, Deborah Crossley, David Kalis, and Leary.


Leary has also proposed tighter regulations that would eliminate disposable plastic checkout bags at retailers in the city. She said she hopes to bring that proposal to the Finance Committee in May or June.

She is also working on a proposal to require waste haulers doing business in Newton to offer recycling services, Leary said.

The City Council is scheduled to meet beginning at 7:45 p.m. in the City Council chambers in City Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Ave.

John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.