At Annual Town Meeting on March 28, the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission (NRC) will propose a bylaw banning the distribution of single-use plastic check-out bags in town. To date, 18 other communities in the Commonwealth have already approved restrictions on plastic shopping bags. The NRC is seeking feedback before finalizing the specifics of this proposal. A public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7:30pm in the Great Hall of Wellesley Town Hall. Click here for more information on the NRC website.
Several key findings led to the NRC bag ban proposal, among them the 2015 decision by the Wellesley Recycling and Disposal Facility (RDF) to stop accepting plastic bags for recycling. The commission is also concerned about the damaging effects of plastics on wildlife and the environment. “Plastic bags wind up in the trees, in our rivers and wetlands, and ultimately in our oceans. This petroleum-based plastic never biodegrades—it just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces that remain in the environment for at least 1,000 years,” says Lise Olney, NRC Vice Chair. “Now that the RDF is no longer able to recycle the bags, we have no way of managing them responsibly — they either end up as litter or in a landfill. We hope this ban will encourage residents to switch to reusable bags when they shop.”
MORE: Sat., Feb. 20, Mass Green Summit, 10 am to 3:30 pm, Wakelin Room, Wellesley Free Library. Discussions and panels on reducing plastic disposables. Co-sponsored by the NRC, Toxics Action Center, Sierra Club MA, MassPIRG. Free and open to the public; please click here to register.