Plastic-Bag Ban In Weston Opposed By Food Store Owner

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Colleen Moore and Julie Morledge, fourth graders at Weston Intermediate School, presented an idea to ban plastic bags from Weston. Photo Credit: File

WESTON, Conn. – A campaign to ban plastic bags in Weston was presented to the town last week by two Weston Intermediate School fourth-graders, but met with opposition from the owner of Peter's Market, Weston's only retail food store. 

Colleen Moore and Julie Morledge  explained the environmental hazards of plastic bags at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Feb. 7 before requesting the community’s help in passing a law that bans plastic bags and allows only reusable or recyclable bags at checkout.

Jim Magee, owner of Peter's Market, said he was approached by the girls' parents and expressed opposition to the idea. 

“Paper costs almost twice as much,” he said. “I’m a single operator, unlike the chains in Westport.”

Westport passed an ordinance in 2008 that bans the use of plastic bags for the retail checkout of purchased goods.

First Selectman Gayle Weinstein was aware of Magee’s opposition and suggested the girls reach out to other businesses in the town center and seek a compromise before resubmitting their idea to the selectmen.

Rudd Anderson, a teacher at Weston Intermediate School, said the girls developed the idea last year for a class project. “They worked hard, got in touch with professionals and have a mentor who works in community organizing to help them,” he said.

Deidre Doran, who chairs the Weston Sustainability Committee, said she supports the girls’ cause. “I always use recyclable bags and want a ban on plastic,” she said. She spoke with Magee and said, “He’s a small business owner and doesn’t want to be singled out but we’ll talk with him and see if we can create something that’s mutually satisfactory.”

Magee said, “I appreciate what the kids are doing but think the state should enact legislation. But if the town passes a law that bans plastic bags, we’ll adapt.”

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Comments (6)

DavidA:

How about the girls offer to set up - at their parent's expense - a recycling bin for the bags like Stop and Shop has and they can go down daily, collect them and have them recycled? This way they don't impose any additional costs on a local small business and can fulfill their mission all at the same time. Surely their parents will support such a solution won't they?

jeanmarie.wiesen:

David, I believe you've come up w/ a wonderful solution that would keep everyone happy and not cause Jim to pass higher prices, down to us, the customers. Good thinking :)

Weston Family:

I love (and always reuse) my plastic bags but that's besides the point. Why do we need a "ban" - we have what 3 or 4 stores in all of Weston? How about working with store owners directly to find a solution. Starting a petition and trying to enact a "ban" doesn't seem very small town friendly. And agreed - why not try and change the habits of shoppers - design a Weston reusable bag and offer for sale. What's next teaching our kids the solution to disagreements is lawsuits?

jeanmarie.wiesen:

I agree and the title of the article is a bit misleading; it makes it sound as if Jim's holding up the so-called ban. But, Dierdre will work w/ him? Seriously. As Jim stated, the paper bags cost twice as much as the plastic, so how is she going to work w/ him.

First of all, whenever I shop there, I either carry out the few items that I purchase, or I bring in my own bag. Problem solved. Rarely, I've needed a plastic bag, but when I have, I've reused them at home for other things and then recycled them as I do everything else. Again, problem solved.

The other suggestion of having a Weston designed bag is a good one; I'd buy one.

And, finally, it should be left up to the state legislation to ban these things.

sean.armstrong.7359:

Heres a novel idea!! Thik!! about other ways to move your foodstuffs,if you dont like the plastic bags,bring a large box and take your cart out to your car and load it up.

laura.f.nichols.1:

have the girls change the shoppers instead of the market, school kids/shoppers at Peters should have to bring their own bags..........

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