Morabito, Keefe Seek to Ban Plastic Bags

At first they were the greatest, now plastic bags are an environmental nuisance, and Revere would like to join other municipalities in banning the distribution of single-use, disposable shopping bags.

Councillor Steve Morabito and Ward 4 Councillor Patrick Keefe both sponsored a motion to prohibit disposable plastic bags.

Morabito, noting his 18 years of experience at Johnny’s Foodmaster, said people often store the bags and don’t reuse them.  He said people would buy three small items then put them in their pocket and discard the bag. Sometimes the bags get blown around in the garbage and end up stuck in trees.

“They have a negative environmental impact,” Morabito said, adding that to make them uses up fossil fuels and fresh water. He pointed to landfills like the one in Saugus and the number of bags it takes in through the garbage system.

Already 61 communities in Massachusetts, including Boston and recently Salem, have banned plastic shopping bags, opting for reusable bags, paper bags or bags made from a recyclable plastic.

“We’re ready for it. and it’s not a huge cost to businesses,” Keefe said, adding that his company switched.

Morabito said it costs about 3 cents per bag.

“My grandmother didn’t have plastic bags,” said Councillor George Rotondo.

“This is important for the environment,” Morabito said, adding that small businesses can opt for a six-month extension.

The council voted to send the issue to a public hearing in front of the council on Feb. 26.

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