The ongoing struggle to ban single serving plastic water bottles in Concord, MA has finally reached a resolution. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley gave her OK to a new bylaw that would eliminate the sale of single serving plastic water bottles throughout the town of Concord. Coakley was involved to ensure that the new bylaw, which was written and fought for by an 84 year old grandmother, did not violate state or constitutional law. This was the third attempt to get the bill through the Attorney General’s office.
The bill was approved by the voters of Concord in April with a 403-364 decision. Since then the bill has been combed over by the Attorney General to make sure that the wording of the bill did not conflict with any state or constitutional right. The group of concerned citizens who drafted the bills are ecstatic, and say the small change will cut down on plastic waste. The success of their efforts shows that with effort and commitment, a concerned group of citizens can influence their community.
The Bottle Ban
Violators of the ban will receive a warning for their first offense, and then incur $25 and $50 fines for the second and all subsequent violations. There are provisions in the bill that allow businesses to sell plastic water bottles in an emergency situation. While most residents are not worried about the plastic bottle ban, Attorney General Coakley received a number of letters from citizens concerned that their freedoms were being impinged upon. This issue has played out over a number of months, and will continue to develop as the bill comes into law.
As the Concord Plastic Bottle Ban takes effect, it will be an excellent chance to see the results of citizen activism from a town level. There will be reduced plastic waste in Concord, but will the ban on plastic bottles become too much of a challenge to personal freedoms? The plastic bottle ban in Concord has made national news, and will continue to be a talking point as the town’s new policies take effect.
- The Power of the “Ban” (becausewater.com)