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News Channel 8, September 24th, 2012

Town to vote on plastic shopping bag ban

Updated: Monday, 24 Sep 2012, 11:09 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 24 Sep 2012, 3:42 PM EDT

Update: According to the Darien First Selectwoman, the proposed plastic bag ban failed in Monday night’s vote by 36-46.

DARIEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Plastic shopping bags could soon be banned from one Connecticut Town.

Depending on how Darien leaders vote tonight, the town could be saying goodbye to plastic shopping bags.

“I think it’s a good idea and I think the stores should get behind it,” said Amanda England, Beadz Boutique, “and I think the more people who get behind it the better it is for the whole community, the planet, everything. It’s just one step at a time.”

If the ban passes, the environmentally-unfriendly bags would be banned from stores.

“We have enough bags and they just all end up in the ocean,” said Joan Simpson, Double Exposure, “look at the spot now, they say it’s the size of Texas.”

However, there are some who say it should be a personal choice, not a government mandate.

“From my perspective an ordinance is inappropriate because we don’t have a local problem,” said First Selectwoman Jayme Stevenson.

The goal is to encourage folks to re-use their own bags, but for those who don’t, stores would have to have paper bags on hand and that’s what she’s worried about.

“There is a local, family-owned business who would be dramatically and negatively affected by the financial impact of not being able to provide low cost plastic bags and have to provide more paper bags if people don’t bring their own,” Stevenson said.

One store owner tells News 8 it would cost him about four times as much to have paper bags over plastic. Others say it’s money well-spent.

“It’s part of a momentum that’s coming across the country already and we’re behind the curve ball,” said Beth Harmon, Darien resident.

If Darien passes the ordinance it would become the second town in the state to ban plastic shopping bags. Westport was the first town in the state to pass such an ordinance, and they did so four years ago.

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