One provision makes clear that the small produce bags customers peel off in supermarkets could still be used, another establishes a starting date, and a third notes that The Open Door food pantry would be exempt for its mail carriers’ food collection and other drives if a revised ban on thin plastic bags in Gloucester gains approval.
But all three members of City Council’s Ordinance and Administration Subcommittee say they are on board with backing the ban, one that has been two years in the works and is on track to go to the full council next week.
“I didn’t support (the proposed ban) the last time because of the way it was written,” said subcommittee Chairman and Ward 3 Councilor Steve LeBlanc, who joined Councilor Jamie O’Hara in voting July 31against positively recommending the ban. “But I can see it, I get it. As long as it is nailed down regarding any questions, I would support it.”
O’Hara said he recognizes the plastic bag ban will mean cost increases for local businesses, and that those hikes may be passed onto customers. But, after voting against the ban in its July run before the subcommittee, with only Ward 5 Councilor Sean Nolan in support, he said he also recognizes the need for such a ban.
“I’ve done a lot more research on it,” he said, “and it’s clear to me it’s something we, as a society, need to wrap our arms around along with other environmental issues. I’m hoping that, through education of our consumers, and getting people used to using re-usable bags, we will be able to make it work.”
Those sentiments are good news to Ward 2 Councilor Melissa Cox, with Nolan the council’s primary advocates for the ban. The plastic bag ban would be the second piece of a two-part environmental package that calls for ban on polystyrene packaging of food and beverages, from coffee cups to…