North & South Rivers Watershed Association

Honoring the People Behind the Plastic Bag Bans

To date there have been 5 single-use plastic bag bans enacted on the South Shore, with another ban coming up for vote in Scituate on November 14. NSRWA honored those people who spearheaded the ban in their town at the annual meeting. Residents from Pembroke, Cohasset, Plymouth, Duxbury, Marshfield, and Scituate, were in attendance and were recognized for their accomplishments. It is this type of grass roots initiative that helps us all protect our environment for generations to come.

Ken Stone, Plymouth honoree said, “Within the next year, it is very likely that every town along the South Shore will have a plastic bag ban. One of the greatest benefits of that is we now have a core of experienced activists in every town who not only have the expertise to bring good environmental legislation forward, but also the experience and confidence that comes with having done so. These are people who know not only how to get it done, but maybe even more importantly, that it can be done. And so it would be terrible to see such a resource fade away and go to waste for lack of an energizing focus moving forward. There is much more that can be done.

“In that regard, there are 27 towns that now have styrene bans of one sort or another. That is about the same number of towns that had bag bans when Lee Burns and I began working toward developing a bylaw for Plymouth. And now there are 87 bag bans state wide. There is no reason the same couldn’t happen with regard to regulating Polystyrene, or for that matter, straws, or disposable plastic water bottles (number of towns have passed bans on those) or nips .

“So what I would propose is that after Scituate passes its ban – the people being honored tonight and those that work with them come together and begin to work first on developing a bylaw restricting Polystyrene that would be consistent across all the communities and aim at bringing such a bylaw to their various town meetings in a regional effort all within the same legislative season. Kingston, and I believe Hingham, also have groups interested in passing bag bans and they could, of course, be part of any other efforts in the future. With a group like this, the division of labor could be fabulous and the support and power of such a group hard to resist.

“So again – I think this would be a good thing to bring up tonight.  It is great and I appreciate honoring what has been done.  But it is just as important, and maybe more so, to think about “what’s next” and turn that into a reality as well.”

Thank you to all of our honorees for working to help protect our waters. NSRWA is proud to support these grass roots initiatives. NSRWA will continue to support citizen activism on the plastics issue by information and network sharing to citizen activists and our own audience.

Click here to read more in Should We Ban Plastic Bags? by Kezia Bacon, Correspondent

(Photo Left to Right) Jaime Sullivan, Pembroke; Martha Gangemi, Cohasset; Janis Owens, Duxbury; Mike Wilson, Duxbury; Kate Glennon, Scituate; Milena Davidova, Scituate; Ken Stone, Plymouth; Jeanne Ryer, Marshfield; Lee Burns, Plymouth; Carol Robinson, Marshfield; Gail Salvetti, Marshfield; (Not shown) Stephen Bucker, Marshfield; Caroline Howlett, Marshfield; Kim & Robert Dugan, Pembroke; Lisa Scanlon, Scituate; Katie Dunn, Cohasset; and the members of Sustainable Duxbury.

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