ELLSWORTH – In an effort to reduce plastic pollution, Ellsworth’s Green Action Team has developed a draft ordinance that would ban all single-use plastic bags. On Thursday morning, community members and officials gathered at Ellsworth City Hall to talk about the issue.
“Single-use plastic bags are winding up in our environment, in our waters and in our oceans,” said member of the Green Action Team Julia Ventresco. “They break down into microplastics which are toxic to our sea life and our seafood.”
The final draft of the ordinance was finished in September. Speakers from the Maine Retail Association, Pen Bay Chamber of Commerce and Ellsworth’s Green Plan helped lead the forum.
“It’s good that communities are getting together with business people, citizens and other groups to try to decide what’s best for their community,” said Retail Association of Maine President & CEO Curtis Picard. “Whether or not it should be a fee or a ban, these are all good conversations to have.”
Picard says 15 ordinances are already in place across the state, each one just a little bit different. Ellsworth’s proposed plan would ban single-use plastic bags like the ones you’d find at a grocery store checkout stand. The plan would also allow businesses to charge a small fee for paper or other reusable bags.
The next step in this process is to continue educating the public about the proposal. Supporters of the ordinance say they eventually want the city council to consider the ban.