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Cambridge proposed plastic bag ban will get another hearing

Posted by Brock Parker  February 11, 2014 11:44 AM

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Cambridge city councilors advanced a proposal to ban disposable plastic bags in the city Monday, but will hold another public hearing before making a final decision.

By a voice vote, the council passed a plastic bag reduction ordinance to a second reading, but also decided another hearing on the ban should be held before a final vote.

The council’s ordinance committee voted in favor of the ban in December, but Mayor David Maher said the council now has four new members and other members of the council were also unable to attend the last hearing in December. Holding another hearing would allow the full council to hear the details of the proposal before a vote.

Former City Councilor Marjorie Decker proposed the ban saying the bags cause pollution, fill up landfills and are harmful to wildlife. Decker is now serving as the state representative for the 25th Middlesex District and she is no longer serving on the Cambridge City Council.

In place of disposable plastic bags, the proposal would require retail establishments provide only recyclable bags or reusable bags to customers as they are making a purchase.

The ban would allow reusable bags and some paper bags to be used as substitutes for disposable plastic bags if the paper bags contain some recycled material and are 100 percent recyclable. Some durable and reusable plastic bags would also be allowed.

Brookline enacted a ban on disposable plastic bags in December.

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