Municipal Bottle Ban Advances Across Cape Cod

BARNSTABLE – Cape Cod residents in nine towns could soon decide whether or not to ban plastic bottles at municipal offices.

Grassroots groups are leading an effort to have voters consider bottle-ban initiatives in Brewster, Chatham, Orleans, Sandwich, Harwich, Yarmouth, Dennis and Wellfleet.

A citizen group is working to build support with representatives in Barnstable and a modified measure has been adopted by selectmen in Provincetown.

Sustainable Practices is leading the Cape-wide ban, which seeks to eliminate the sale, purchase and distribution of plastic bottles.

The Brewster-based nonprofit group unveiled The Cape Plastic Bottle Ban last year, to raise awareness of how the botttles damage the environment, wildlife and our health.

“Plastic is a perfect example of how the desire for convenience has blinded Americans from the true cost of consumption,” says Madhavi Venkatesan, Executive Director of Sustainable Practices.

“Prices are not indicative of the true cost of our consumption. And prices alone should not be the determining factor in decision-making especially at the government level. We are looking at municipal bans for this very reason. Given the government’s intermediary role in regulating to promote the best interest of society.”

The group says that plastic bottles are made from non-renewable fuels, leach chemicals into consumables, and do not biodegrade.

“Our goal right now is to see if we can get this bylaw passed as much as possible but also increase the conversation in the communities that are going to be affected and those communities that we have not targeted as of yet,” said Venkatesan.

They add that the bottles impact environmental health and the health and longevity of other species, who may ingest plastic as food.

“This is a precursor to a commercial ban but also as an educational process for people to understand the adverse impacts of our consumption or our convenience consumption, on our human health as well as the environment,” said Venkatesan.


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