On August 9, 2017

Why no plastic bag ban in Vermont?

Dear Editor,

I recently learned that no Vermont town has a plastic bag ban. Given that Vermont has been an environmental leader since the 70s, I was surprised and disappointed.

After living for 35 years in Vermont, my husband and I moved to Lee, Massachusetts in 2011, to be closer to grandchildren. We chose the Berkshires because it is so similar to Vermont.

After our move, I joined the Lee Greener Gateway Committee. In 2015, the committee started the process of writing 2 bylaws for consideration at our 2016 Town Meeting: a plastic bag and Styrofoam ban. About 24  Massachusetts towns already had plastic bag and/or Styrofoam bans. We presented drafted bylaws to our Selectboard, held public hearings, and contacted local media. Using community input, the final drafts of the two bylaws were passed. Businesses and community members were given a year to comply. The committee assisted with pamphlets for businesses and consumers, posters for businesses, and reminders in utility bills.

Our committee has promoted consumer use of reusable bags. With grants, we commissioned a student to create a Lee logo for a cloth bag, which businesses sell. We gave these bags to the food pantry, WIC program, and senior citizens. We have also sponsored “gently used reusable bag” swaps at our library and Farmers Market.

Now, 55 Massachusetts towns have plastic bag bans. The state legislature is working on a statewide ban. I strongly encourage Vermont town officials, and those in surrounding towns, to pursue a ban.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. uses 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. An estimated 12 million barrels of oil is required to make them.

If we all do our part to reduce this source of littering, ocean pollution, and drain on resources, our Earth will be healthier, as will future generations.

Valerie Bluhm, Lee, Mass.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

A public education Vermonters support and value

May 22, 2024
By Margaret MacLean Editor’s note: Margaret MacLean, from Peacham, has been an educator for 50 years, working as a teacher, school principal and consultant both in Vermont, the U.S. and internationally. Over the past 14 years Vermont has enacted three sweeping school district consolidation laws. The overarching goals of Act 153, Act 156, and Act…

Vermont’s lost submarine memorial

May 22, 2024
Dear Editor, At the Veteran Administration (VA) in White River Jct, VT, there is a distinct memorial dedicated to the Submarine USS Flier (SS 250) lost during World War II.  Ever mindful of our lost shipmates, friends and family that have served in the submarine service of our country, the U.S. Submarine Veterans, Inc. (USSVI)…

H.121 poses significant risk to Vermont’s business community

May 22, 2024
Dear Editor, As the CEO of the Vermont Country Store (VCS), I strongly support consumer privacy as does the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and many peer companies in the state. I wholeheartedly endorse the Connecticut law that was the foundation of H.121. However, as passed it is my hope that Governor Scott will veto H.121.…

Vermont’s outsize appetite for taxes

May 22, 2024
Dear Editor, Most Vermont taxpayers have just experienced a period of tax focus, specifically property taxes to support our public schools. Some communities are still going through the valuable public debate about property taxes and, more generally, the overall tax burden and trying to evaluate that relative to what we receive for our tax dollars.…