Stonington could be one of the first American towns to ban the use of plastic straws.
The town’s board of selectmen has put together a committee to explore how to implement a ban on plastic straws and single-use plastic bags. Stonington first selectman Rob Simmons said the committee will be established next week and then within 90 days, he’s expecting the town to ditch the plastics.
“We’re not rushing to judgement,” Simmons said. “We’re not trying to be the first guy on the block. But, we are going to carefully and systematically examine the cost and the benefit of reducing this kind of plastic in our daily life. We think it’s appropriate.”
Westport and Greenwich are two Connecticut towns with bag bans already in place. Only one major American city – Seattle, Washington – has done away with plastic straws.
Some people with disabilities have objected to straw bans, as many of them rely on the use of the straws for nourishment. While his first concern is to eliminate the potential for plastics ending up in the water, Simmons said he’s open to exceptions being made for those with disabilities.
“We’re not interested in creating any problems for people who have a medical or physical disability that requires them to use a certain type of plastic,” Simmons said.
For prospective committee members, Simmons pointed out that he’d like a local restaurateur, someone from Stonington’s chamber of commerce, and a representative from an organization that cleans up the town’s beaches and harbors.
Town residents will be invited to speak at a public hearing when the measure is actually voted on.