Annual Town Meeting ~ 2017, Letter to the Editor: April 1, 2017 – Response to Bedford’s Plastic Bag Ban

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By Katie Luczai

When we, as a town, decided to ban the sale of single-use plastic bags, what is it saying about our environmental action and our values?

On Tuesday, March 28, 2017, the town of Bedford banned the sale of thin-film, single-use bags. As a resident of Bedford, a student, and an environmentalist, this measure makes me optimistic and should be given the support it deserves. This letter is to affirm and gain more widespread support for this massively beneficial town movement.

Bedford is joining in on a greater movement of environmental consciousness. Neighboring towns such as Concord, Arlington, Cambridge, and Newton have joined the movement by proposing or enacting similar plastic bag bans. A total of 43 other towns are a part of the crusade in Massachusetts. Bedford is now the 44th town of the 351 incorporated towns and cities in Massachusetts to vote a now-passed measure for the ban of single-use, plastic bags.

The town of Bedford is moving in the direction of the state.

At the moment, a proposed measure is before the Massachusetts Legislature about whether to ban the sale of single-use plastic bags after August 1, 2018, with an additional requirement for the sale of recycled paper bags for at least $0.10 each. Before August 1, 2018, single use plastic bag must be charged for a fee of at least $0.10. The Statewide Plastic Bag Law S.424 is currently being considered by the Massachusetts State Senate committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture. Our very own State Senator Mike Barrett of the Third Middlesex district has added his support in passing this measure.

When individuals make small changes in their lives, those changes snowball into greater social action.This ban is a small, simple act that the town can afford.This measure will not cost the town jobs. It will not move businesses elsewhere. It does not infringe on individual liberty. This measure is instead, an investment for the future of Bedford. It is a lesson for our children, teaching them that one by one we can make a positive change in how we live from day to day.

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