Barnstable Town Council Bans Plastic Bags

CCB MEDIA PHOTO Barnstable Town Councilor Philip Wallace shows what he found littering local streets, while Councilor Eric Steinhilber looks on. A majority of town councilors voted to ban plastic bags by a vote of 7 to 6. Both Wallace and Steinhilber voted against the measure.

CCB MEDIA PHOTO
Barnstable Town Councilor Philip Wallace shows what he found littering local streets, while Councilor Eric Steinhilber looks on. A majority of town councilors voted to ban plastic bags by a vote of 7 to 6. Both Wallace and Steinhilber voted against the measure.

BARNSTABLE – The town of Barnstable became the sixth town on the Cape and Islands to ban plastic bags last night.

The ban on the thin plastic grocery stores barely passed in a vote of 7 to 6.

About a dozen residents turned out to ask the Barnstable Town Council to ban the bags.

The ban will not start for one year to allow merchants to phase out the bags.

Plastic bags are also banned in Falmouth, Harwich, Wellfleet, Provincetown and Nantucket.

The councilors who voted against the ban said the bags should not be called “single use” because they are used and reused in numerous ways, from lining garbage bags to cleaning out cat litter. Councilor John Norman listed numerous ways his family uses the bags.

Town Councilor Eric Steinhilber said he tried to find someone locally who had seen a marine mammal die of the bags but could not find anyone. Town Councilor Philip Wallace said he found a variety of types of garbage on the town’s streets—and he brought a bagful of items to show the board—but he did not find any of the thin plastic bags covered by the ban.

Besides Norman, Wallace, and Steinhilber, councilors James Crocker, Will Crocker and Ann Canedy voted against the ban.

But Town Councilor Paul Hebert, who brought forward the ban, said the environmental damage of the bags should outweigh any inconvenience. He said the damage to the marine environment is one of the world’s most serious environmental issues.

Voting with Hebert to ban the bags were Town Councilor President Jessica Rapp-Grassetti, along with Fred Chirigotis, Jennifer Cullum, Sara Cushing, Debra Dagwan and James Tinsley.

By LAURA M. RECKFORD, CapeCod.com News Editor

Comments

  1. Love it. Very proud of my native Massachusetts. I hope the state will do a state wide ban soon.

  2. Phasing these bags out is moronic. Read the article about how many marine life are harmed. I re-purpose my plastic bags many times. I use re-usable bags when I shop, but ask for meats, poultry, deli items and anything frozen to be wrapped in plastic bags due to leakage issues. I, too, use them to clean my litter box. How about the councilor who picked up trash from the streets and found not one thin grocery bag? Let’s go ahead and jack up our grocery prices to support this stupid ban. I hope the voters in the precincts of those who supported this ban are paying attention so those councilors can be replaced by some with common sense.

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