A group of Pelham residents hope to follow momentum gathered by communities l to establish their own local ban merchants handing out single-use plastic bags.
Residents in Pelham and Pelham Manor are asked to sign the online petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/pelham-bag-initiative/ and forward the link to any neighbors, friends and acquaintances who would be interested. The petition had five signatures as of Thursday night.
The Pelhams Bag Initiative, a group with ties to the Pelham Green Committee, is trying to collect 500 signatures on an online petition by September in support of a ban on single-use plastic shopping bags in the community. Hawaii, Los Angeles; Issaquahm, Wa; Seattle, Wa; Westport, Conn. and a number of other communities have already instituted the ban.
Locally, the Village of Mamaroneck is also working on a law that would ban plastic shopping bags.
“We had representatives speak to both the Pelham and Pelham Manor board of trustees and they both want more information and to take time to look at all the issues surrounding it,” said Sydney MacInnis, one of the people spearheading Pelham’s grassroots efforts.
According to the Clean Air Council, Americans use approximately one billion plastic, non-degradable shopping bags per year.
The bags have been caused for concern due to the damage they cause to the environment once they are discarded, especially when they get caught in rivers, oceans and any other large body of water.
MacInnis said in the Village of Pelham has already voiced their support for a ban. She said officials from the in Pelham Manor have yet to voice an opinion for or against the ban.
MacInnis said the law her group is pushing would not recommend replacing the single-use bags with paper bags, since paper bag usage also impacts the environment. Instead, the law would encourage the use of reusable bags.
Plastic bags for produce, meat, newspapers and some other uses would also be exempt from the law.
In the spirit of full disclosure, MacInnis admits she is the founder of “Mothering Mother,” a company committed to developing, promoting and distributing reusable products that replace disposable products.
But MacInnis said her efforts aren't motivated by a potential for financial gain.
“This is something I know a lot about and I’m extremely passionate about it,” MacInnis said. “I started Mothering Mother because of that passion and not because I thought a plastic bag ban would happen in Pelham. I didn’t want to take the leadership role in this initiative, but everyone (in the group) told me it wasn’t a conflict of interest and that my experience is being used for everyone’s benefit.”
Anyone with questions can e-mail MacInnis and her group at email@example.com.
The group will also be at the
this Sunday to answer questions.