By Jason Emerson
The Madison County Board of Supervisors has proposed a law to ban plastic carryout bags in Madison County, and has announced a public hearing on the proposal for May 9.
The law, entitled “carryout bag reduction,” introduced by Town of Lebanon Supervisor James Goldstein, seeks to protect the environment, reduce pollution, control litter and improve the aesthetics of the county by eliminating the single-use plastic carryout bag from certain retail stores.
According to the legislation, the ban would affect “certain covered wholesale and retail stores that sell personal, consumer or household items including grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, hardware stores, food marts, pharmacies, apparel stores, home centers, stationary and office supply stores.” Certain sellers such as food service establishments and liquor stores would be exempt from the ban.
A majority of the three greater Cazenovia area town supervisors are in favor of the proposal.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said Cazenovia Town Supervisor Bill Zupan. “You often see bags all over the roadside … and sometimes it gets to be ridiculous. Especially with Aldi coming in — you have to bring your own bags to Aldi. I think [the ban] fits the town. People are just going to have to adjust to bringing bags to the grocery store or use the paper.”
Nelson town supervisor Roger Bradstreet agreed. “I hope it gets accepted. I think there is a better way [than plastic bags]. We keep cloth bags in our car for grocery shopping. I think that’s way to do it.”
Fenner Town Supervisor David Jones said he is withholding his opinion whether to support or oppose the proposed law for now, but he sees that many people are on both sides of the issue and is interested to hear what comments come at the public hearing.
That public hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 9, in the Board of Supervisors’ Chambers at the Madison County Office building in Wampsville. The public is invited to attend the hearing to express their opinion. Comments are also being accepted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.