SOUTHINGTON – Town leaders are considering a ban on plastic bags but said more research on the economic impact is needed before a vote is taken.
Town Council Chairman Chris Palmieri brought the proposal to the ordinance review committee after hearing the suggestion from a resident. Conservationists have criticized the use of plastic bags because of concerns about environmental impact.
Cheryl Lounsbury, ordinance review committee chairwoman, said the topic is on Wednesday’s agenda for discussion.
“I don’t know if there’s any decision that’s going to come up right now. There’s a lot to think about on how it’s going to affect retailers,” she said. “We’ve got to reach out and see what the ramifications would be.”
Palmieri also said the town is far from a decision.
“This is extremely preliminary and we have not even had any conversations with local businesses yet. That would be vital before deciding anything,” he said.
Lounsbury also wanted to know if there would be a cost to businesses as the result of a ban.
“We’re going to have to look into that and do some research,” she said. “There’s a lot of research that has to be done on this one before we go any farther.”
The General Assembly’s Environment Committee last month approved a bill that would prevent stores from offering plastic bags. Palmieri and Lounsbury said they’d monitor developments at the state legislature, which might make a local ban redundant.
Don Drust Sr., owner of the ShopRite on Queen Street, called a ban on plastic shopping bags “inevitable” and something to which his business would adjust.
“Everybody’s going to be doing it,” he said. “We’ll have to follow along.”
Nearly a dozen towns and cities in the state have enacted bans or restrictions on plastic bags, including Middletown and Hamden.
The ordinance review committee is scheduled to meet at 4:30 p.m. in Town Hall, 75 Main St.
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