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Greenfield council just beginning to consider ban on plastic bags

GREENFIELD — The town councilors who will decide whether to propose a ban on plastic bags and what form it might take are planning to approach the issue with deliberation.

Town Council Vice President Hillary Hoffman (Precinct 6), who is currently a member of the council’s Appointments and Ordinances Committee, said a lot more needs to be discussed before an ordinance is presented to the full council.

“I don’t want anyone to get upset,” said Hoffman. “We definitely need more dialogue. We don’t want this to become a huge burden on anyone.”

Hoffman said if an ordinance is passed, it may not be the one presented by Connelly. She said there will most likely be changes made to it before the full council considers it.

“Appointments and Ordinances will be holding a public hearing and I hope business owners and residents will come and speak,” said Hoffman. “A lot of research needs to be done. We don’t want to jump to any decisions.”

“I know this is a huge deal and we need to work together to come up with something that makes sense,” said Hoffman. “I do think the idea is good, but the change will not be instant.”

Precinct 1 Town Councilor and Appointments and Ordinances Committee member Marian Kelner said she would like to see something done about plastic bags and the litter they add to, but said the same as Hoffman — “We need to talk more with merchants and figure this out.”

Kelner said the ordinance, as far as she is concerned, is in its very early stages.

“It’s complicated and we’ll need to take some time with this one,” said Kelner. “This is not one for the fast track.”

Kelner also said she would like to see as many people as possible come out to talk at a public hearing when one is scheduled.

Precinct 5 Town Councilor David Singer, who has been serving as chairman of the Appointments and Ordinances Committee, said the ordinance is a “good idea that needs to be vetted by the community.”

Singer said he wants to hear from local businesses about how such an ordinance would affect them.

“This is probably going to have to end up being a give and take,” he said. “The bottom line is that as a society, we’ve forgotten what happens to these plastic bags after they leave businesses.”

— ANITA FRITZ

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Business owners concerned about plastic bag ban

Thursday, December 26, 2013

GREENFIELD — A Congress Street resident has caused quite the stir with an ordinance he has proposed to ban plastic bags from being used at checkout counters in stores throughout Greenfield. Some downtown merchants believe the effects of such a ban could be devastating to business, but town councilors are saying that nothing is written in stone, and before anything … 0

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