Portland expands proposed disposable bag fees

6:51 PM, Jan 28, 2014   |    comments
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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- a city working group has voted to expand a proposed ordinance that would charges customers fees for disposable bags.

The ordinance, approved by the Green Packaging Working Group Monday night, would extend the fees for bags to restaurants, farmers markets, and laundromats, and it would cover all disposable bags.

That means customers picking up takeout food would be charged ten cents for each bag, whether it's paper or plastic. Customers picking up their dry cleaning would also be charged ten cents for the plastic bag that covers their clean clothes.

Tyler Kidder, who is part of the working group, says she knows that in creating a broader ordinance, they created a broader opposition. But she says they don't have a case.

"In all the research we did, communities reported that no one went shopping out of the community because of the bag ban, no one went out of business, so it's really just a resistance to change" Kidder said.

Restaurant owner Anthony Barrasso disagrees.

"I feel real bad for the guys just coming in," Barrasso said. "We've been here, like I said, twenty-two years, it's still a struggle. We're marginal every year. It's no great big moneymaker here, so what does the little guy do?"

The proposal still has a long way to go before it's approved. Next, it will move on the the city's Transportation and Sustainability committee. If approved there, it will move on to the full city council.












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