Marblehead Voters Approve Ban on Plastic Bags, Styrofoam Containers

Town Meeting voters in Marblehead approved a ban on thin-film plastic bags and styrofoam food and beverage containers Monday night.

The use of plastic bags at checkout and styrofoam food and drink containers have been banned in Marblehead. Patch File Photo
The use of plastic bags at checkout and styrofoam food and drink containers have been banned in Marblehead. Patch File Photo

Pretty soon, customers shopping in Marblehead will no longer leave local businesses with their items in thin-film, single-use plastic bags - and their coffees and to-go orders will no longer come in styrofoam containers.

At Town Meeting Monday night, Marblehead residents approved two Warrant items calling for a ban on thin-film single-use plastic bags and styrofoam food and beverage containers at local businesses.

The Board of Health, the Director of Public Health and people designated by the Director of Public Health will be responsible for enforcing the new town bylaws, which will be phased in over the next 12 months.

The bylaws stipulate that after a written warning has been issued to a violator, a fine of $25 will be issued for a first violation after a warning; a $50 fine will be issued for a second violation after a warning and any other subsequent violations.

The ban on styrofoam containers does not pertain to the packaging of uncooked meat, uncooked poultry and uncooked meat.

Here's a little more information straight from this year's Town Meeting Warrant

"The production and use of thin-film, single-use checkout bags have been shown to have significant detrimental impacts on the environment, including, but not limited to , contributing to the potential death of marine animals through ingestion and entanglement; contributing to pollution of the land environment; creating a burden to solid waste collection and recycling facilities; clogging storm drainage systems; and requiring the use of millions of barrels of crude oil nationally for their manufacture. The purpose of this bylaw is to eliminate the usage of thing-film, single-use plastic bags in Marblehead, thereby promoting the health and safety of the citizens of the town through the preservation of the environment."

"Expanded polystyrene food containers from a significant portion of the solid waste stream going into our landfills. Local landfills are running out of room; our future solid waste may need to be transported hundreds of miles to a landfill at a considerable cost. Expanded polystyrene items are not biodegradable; once buried in a landfill, they will remain for centuries. The elimination of expanded polystyrene food and beverage containers is in the best interest of the health and welfare of the inhabitants of the Town of Marblehead." 

What do you think of the plastic bag ban? How about the ban on styrofoam food and beverage containers?

Let us know in the comments section below.
Waverly Watchdog May 12, 2014 at 08:33 AM
@JP: Agendas are always pushed a little bit at a time. If all the environuttery we have now had been implemented in one lump, it would have been rejected outright by the public. But, if it's put in a little bit at a time, no single step is enough of an outrage to cause a rebellion. It's called creaping socialism, or Fabian Socialism. Many pressure groups do this from the 'Environmentalists' to the 'Pro-Lifers'. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The same applies to taxes and all other forms of regulation. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ENOUGH !!
Kathie May 13, 2014 at 07:10 AM
"The Powers That Be" are gonna do what they want in this town and the HELL with what the majority wants. Enough with the crunchy granola factors, I walk home from Crosby's or Community Store with my groceries many times as it wastes gas to drive there for a few items, I do NOT want to have to drive there because paper bags suck and like Waverly Watch Dog hate to pay for things and have the bag break in the parking lot (because the baggers overstuff paperbags thinking their bigger and hold more, but the bags can't handle the extra weight of overstuffing) Yes I do use reuseable bags, but you're still stuck with the overstuffing problem, what good are they if I can't lift them. WAKE UP MARBLEHEAD, "You're cutting off your nose to spite your face"
J. Parker May 13, 2014 at 12:59 PM
Kathie, do you think that light will dawn on Marble Head ? I doubt it. "The Powers That be" want you to buy a cloth bag to carry your groceries in. Trouble is, they won't hold ALL your groceries ! So now you have to BUY more than one.....Nice trade off, huh? As if our groceries aren't expensivie enough !
Waverly Watchdog May 13, 2014 at 03:37 PM
It used to be that Town Meeting was made up of merchants, grocery, drug hardware, and other store owners and average property owners in Town, but no more. Now it is made up of people who really don't have that much skin in the game. Often they are spouses or other relatives of town employees such as teachers, police, fire, and other such. Their interests are quite plainly at cross-purposes with those of the town residents. Remember, the Public Sector does not have to be efficient. They do not have to earn the money they spend. They just tax others for it. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Of course, those on the town payroll will bleat "We are taxpayers too". This argument is utter nonsense, because they will net far, far more in salary increases than they ever pay in any tax increase. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- But back to TM. There has been a recent influx of people who do not have to work to earn a living and have time on their hands to play activist. They have some household help, use disposable diaper, both human and doggie daycare, and make reservations for dinner. Having little to do, they turn to activism for some cause or other, and are easily convinced that something like plastic bags deserve to be a crusade. And run for TM to that end. And win, because they have the free time to campaign among others in like situations. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And that's how we wind up with silly bylaws, and sillier pols.
Kathie May 13, 2014 at 07:40 PM
J.Parker, The "Light" dawned on M'head years ago, but the it was extinquished by all the factions that have their own agenda.....


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