An effort to ban the use of plastic bags at the local Stop & Shop, Shaw's Supermarket and Wal-Mart has been rejected by the town of Sturbridge.
Had it succeeded at last night's town meeting, Sturbridge would have become the first town in the state to do so, a state environmental official told the Telegram & Gazette. Edmund J. Coletta said Boston and Somerville have discussed such an initiative.
On April 22 -- Earth Day -- Whole Foods Markets banned plastic bags from their stores, and they offer customers who bring reusable bags a 5-cent discount.
The proponents of the Sturbridge initiative were two high school students. One of them, Conor Neal, told the Telegram & Gazette: "In the last week or so we learned about the power of democracy and the power of big corporations trying to influence the vote on this article.”
The measure would have fined the stores up to $300 if they used plastic bags.