Council Votes to Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags

The Revere City Council approved an ordinance Monday night banning single-use, disposable, plastic shopping bags at local stores. The ordinance will go in to effect in three phases: on July 1 (stores 20,000 square feet or more), on Aug. 1 (stores 10,000 square feet or more) and Sept. 1 (smaller stores).

“The stores will have to distribute a paper bag or a reusable bag,” said Ward 4 Councillor Patrick Keefe, who joined all but two of his colleagues in voting for the new ordinance.

Keefe called the ordinance “a good step” for the city. “As a coastal community, we’re able to protect the environment,” he said. “This is something that is being done in over 100 communities in Massachusetts and it looks like later this year the state is going to take up this ban as well. We’re just getting ahead of the state’s eventual single-use plastic bag ban. I think it’s great for our city to start protecting the environment.”

Keefe worked closely with Councillors Steve Morabito, Jessica Giannino, and Joanne McKenna on the ordinance.

“Prior to introducing the motion to ban single use, plastic, shopping bags, it was reassuring to work with Councillors Giannino, Keefe, and McKenna, who shared the same passion as I do on this matter,” said Morabito. “This ban will curb litter on the streets, protect marine environment, waterways and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sold waste.”

Morabito thanked his colleagues for keeping an open mind on the issue by listening, researching, and learning about the matter, “but more importantly by voting to pass this motion tonight.”

“These single-use plastic bags are cheap and one of the lowest quality that are manufactured,” added Morabito. “The bags often end up on the streets, in the trees, against fences, blocking sewer drains and blown out to our beach water and marshes. This is an additional step to improve our neighborhoods.”

Giannino said she was pleased to see the ordinance passed by the Council. “The ordinance was something was very important to Councillor McKenna and me. Although it is one small step in the big picture, it’s a step in the right direction. I am proud that as a coastal community, Revere is setting an example for all of Massachusetts,” concluded Giannino.

McKenna also expressed her gratitude to her colleagues for their vote for the ordinance.

“I thank and commend my colleagues that were initially against this ordinance but educated themselves to the facts and then voted favorably in support of this ordinance,” said McKenna. “It might be a baby step in a large picture, but it is a positive step going forward especially in a coastal community like Revere. Bravo!

Councillors-at-Large George Rotondo and Anthony Zambuto voted against the ordinance.

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