Stonington committee tasked with reviewing whether to ban plastic bags and straws

Stonington committee tasked with reviewing whether to ban plastic bags and straws

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STONINGTON — The Board of Selectmen appointed an advisory committee Wednesday that will look into banning or limiting plastic carry-out bags, take-out containers and straws.

The Ad Hoc Committee for Plastic Bags and Straws was tasked with investigating a possible ordinance prohibiting, regulating and/or reducing the use of plastic bags and straws in the town. The committee’s mission also included making recommendations for enforcement mechanisms for non-compliance. 

The committee members are: Thaler Hefel, Clean Up Sound and Harbors member; Moira Deasy, Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce board member; Beth Markowski-Roop, Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce member; and Stephanie Hayes-Houlihan, co-owner of Water Street Cafe. Also appointed were residents Jason Hine, Farrah Kaeser and Erika Lebling. Don Kluberdanz was appointed as an alternate and three additional alternates have yet to be appointed. 

First Selectman Rob Simmons said he would officially convene the group in the next two weeks. 

“Prepare to engage in what will probably be a fairly busy time,” he told the group. “Come up with a set of recommendations that are achievable and you [will] report back to the Board of Selectmen in 90 days.”  

Simmons suggested the group visit some of the eight towns in Rhode Island that have passed ordinances that ban or limit plastic bags and straws. 

The catalyst for forming the committee was a letter from residents Stuart Schwartzstein and Ben Philbrick asking how the town could reduce plastic waste in the environment, which Simmons read aloud at the June 27 selectmen’s meeting.


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