Members of the Sustain Mid Maine Coalition have worked for over a year to get a question on the Nov. 6 ballot to ban plastic bags at big-box stores in Waterville. A yes vote on Waterville’s Question 1 will create a ban on all plastic bags at stores 10,000 square feet and larger. Stores like Hannaford, Shaw’s and Walmart will be affected; smaller stores will not. Customers are welcome to bring any type of bag with them to the store — reusable, paper or even plastic.

Since ecomaine no longer accepts plastic bags in our recycling bins, many are tossed on roadsides and find their way to the ocean. Most plastic bags go into trash cans and, therefore, to the landfill in Norridgewock, where they will take 1,000 years or more to degrade.

If the ordinance passes on the ballot on Nov. 6, it won’t take effect until Earth Day 2019. That is a nearly six-month window for folks to adjust to bringing their own bags to the store. Paper bags will still be available at checkout at those big-box stores.

To learn more about the problem of plastic, I invite you to attend a screening of the documentary film Bag It for free on Monday, Oct. 22, at Beth Israel Synagogue, or Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the Muskie Center. Both showings are at 6 p.m. It will also be shown for free on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 10 a.m., at Railroad Square Cinema. The film highlights the many environmental problems plastic bags cause and how countries around the word are banning them.

Ten Maine towns have banned plastic bags all together. Five towns charge 5 cents. Please vote yes on Waterville’s municipal Question 1 to ban the bag at big-box stores in Waterville.

Linda Woods


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