Yarmouth Could be Next to Ban Plastic Bags

YARMOUTH –Yarmouth selectmen Tuesday night approved the placement of a plastic bag ban by-law on the annual town meeting warrant.

The measure would ban thin, disposable bags while exempting bags used for dry cleaning, produce, newspapers and other uses if passed.

“My wish is to put it on the warrant, I think it’s worthy of discussion by town meeting and I think that’s the appropriate avenue that it should be either voted up or down by town meeting,” said selectman Tracy Post.

The town’s Board of Health reviewed the proposed by-law and added some recommendations, including the deferment time only be a maximum of three months and no loss of license if penalized.

“The Board of Health was supportive of the by-law, going forward it was just some small fine-tuning items that we’re working with the applicant and reviewing a couple other by-laws that the Board of Health looked at, but in general it’s something that could go forward,” said Health Director Bruce Murphy.

Enforcement of the by-law would be health or building inspectional services.

Paper bags or reusable cloth or thick plastic ones would be recommended to be used by the local businesses.

Any establishment that fails to comply with the by-law would be given a written warning for the first offense, a $100 fine for the second offense and a $200 fine for three or more offenses.

The by-law would mimic the current Barnstable by-law.

If passed, Yarmouth would join Barnstable, Chatham, Falmouth, Harwich, Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, Dennis and Mashpee as towns on the Cape that have approved similar initiatives.

Members of Cape Environmental Action are now working with the Board of Health to get the final wording of the by-law and will send it back to selectmen on January 5.

By JUSTIN SAUNDERS, CapeCod.com Newscenter

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