Support sought for plastic bag ban

Proponents of a ban on single-use plastic bags in Marshfield are continuing to meet with town boards with the goal of building support and getting the issue to a vote at Town Meeting in the spring.

Jeanne Ryer and Carol Robinson most recently presented their proposed bylaw to the Conservation Commission, where members questioned the proponents whether plastic bags were more harmful to the environment than paper bags, and whether it’s realistic to think people would bring their own bags to the grocery store.

Ryer and Robinson told the commission that plastic bags cannot be recycled at the curb and must be brought back to the store for recycling, but that very few people do that. They said 59 other Massachusetts municipalities have adopted plastic bag bans.


The ban proposed for Marshfield would not apply to plastic bags for newspapers, dry cleaning or meat, produce, and other wet products, according to Ryer.

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Commission members suggested that the proponents compile data related to plastic bag use and the environment and share it online so residents can be educated on the issue.

The proponents plan to meet with the Board of Selectmen in December, and have met with the boards of public works and health.

They would like the Board of Health to enforce the ban, if it is enacted. They are seeking support from the Board of Health so that the bylaw can be submitted by January for a Town Meeting vote in the spring, but Robinson said during the Conservation Commission meeting on Nov. 21 that they were unsure where they stood with the board.

Jill Terreri Ramos can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @jillterreri.