Mansfield Considers Ban on Plastic Bags

The Town of Mansfield is considering banning one-time-use plastic bags.

On Monday night, the Mansfield Solid Waste Advisory Committee presented a proposal to the public to eliminate checkout bags. Committee members estimate that Mansfield uses 8.6 million plastic bags every year.

"I think that would be really good for the environment," said Mansfield resident Zoe Everton.

For Everton and her mom it makes sense to shop with reusable bags, but like so many others, they often forget to bring them and end up using plastic. Committee members believe having an ordinance in place that bans the bags could help change the culture.

"I think it would be sort of an adjustment for people who live here, but I think it's definitely worth it," said Everton.

At the meeting, members pointed out that several items wouldn’t fall under the ordinance including paper bags, plastic bags used to package food, plastic bags used to hold fruit and vegetables in the produce aisle, and bags used for dry-cleaned clothes.

Members said they held another public meeting before the one on Monday night and have met with several businesses. They told NBC Connecticut they've seen a lot of support for the plan.

"We did go around to all the businesses in town and tell them that we were proposing this and to get some of their ideas and concern," said Julia Sherman, a member of the committee.

"[Plastic bags are] harming the environment. It's harming marine animals, and it's ultimately harming us," said Mansfield resident Roxana Mocanu.

Mocanu has three children and said she's looking to make a better world for them and that the committee’s proposal should only be the beginning.

"This is a step in the right direction, and there is still a long way to go even after we ban plastic bags," said Mocanu.

Members said they still need to speak with council members individually about the proposal as well as the town attorney before they present it to the town council.

If it does end up going through, Sherman said a future proposal could include banning plastic straws.

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