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Bag-Ban Law Ready for Councilors

A draft ordinance that would ban plastic grocery and takeout bags in Barrington has been posted in Town Hall; it will be introduced at the Town Council meeting on Sept. 10.

Bag-Ban Law Ready for Councilors

The proposed ordinance to ban plastic grocery and takeout bags in Barrington has been posted in the Town Hall.

It includes fines of up to $300 per violation and describes how the ordinance would be enforced – either by the police department or an officer of the town manager.

The draft ordinance will be introduced at the Town Council meeting on Monday night, Sept. 10. A public hearing on the ordinance will be held on Oct. 1.

If approved by the Town Council, it would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013.

The draft ordinance bans plastic bags “to improve the environment in Barrington and the health, safety and welfare of its residents by encouraging the use of reusable checkout bags.”

It encourages retailers to offer for sale reusable bags. It does not suggest a price per bag.

The ordinance would be enforced by the police department or any other department or division designated by the town manager.

A potential violation would be investigated and followed up with a written notice to the owner or manager of the retail establishment.  The notice would either be served to the owner or manager in person or by posting it in a conspicuous place of the store and sending a copy to the owner or manager.

A retail store’s owner or manager would have to respond in writing within 14 days that the violation has ended.

A second violation after the 14-day response period and within one year of the response from the retailer would lead to a $150 fine. A third violation within a year of the second and any subsequent violations would lead to a $300 fine.

A retail store owner or manager could appeal the violation in writing to the town manager within 14 days of receiving the notice of violation. The town manager could waive the violation on a “showing of good cause or undue hardship.” Good cause or undue hardship are not defined.

The draft ordinance does include six other definitions: retail sales establishment, checkout bag, plastic barrier bag, double-opening plastic bags, recyclable paper bag, and reusable bag.

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