PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- A group in Pleasantville is seeking to introduce an ordinance that would ban single-use plastic shopping bags in the village.
PleasantvilleRecycles is a group of residents that work to improve and expand recycling in the community through education, events and other programs. The group has drafted a law that would see the shopping bags removed from stores due to their harmful impact on the environment. Similar ordinances have been passed in Rye, Mamaroneck, Larchmont and Westport.
"We believe that Pleasantville is ready to take this step," said Dan Turner, chair of PleasantvilleRecycles. "We've spoken to adults, we've spoken to kids, we've spoken to the Chamber of Commerce, we've spoken to all different levels of residents and local merchants in the community. And all agree the timing is right, that we should join other communities such as Rye and Mamaroneck and truly pass this initiative."
The group wants to ban the bags because it believes they hurt the environment, kill animals, and are even harmful to the health of humans. The proposed ban would prevent stores from offering the bags at checkout, and instead encourage shoppers to use reusable and paper bags. The ban would allow merchants six months to get rid of their current plastic inventory before enforcement would take effect.
Members Andrea Garbarini and Lynda Shenkman Curtis, along with Pleasantville High School student Cary Chapman, went around to many of the merchants in town. They got many to sign a pledge of support to encourage reusable bags, as well as hear their thoughts and concerns about potentially banning the bags altogether.
"Of course there's concerns, of course the shopkeepers feel that maybe it will cost them more money if they have to buy paper," Garbarini said. However, she said that in towns like Westport, "No store has really gone out of business because they adopted this."
Turner said that Pleasantville leads the county in terms of how much it recycles, and believes that the residents truly care about the environment.
The group has presented their ordinance to the Village Board of Trustees, which will consider the proposal and likely hold a public hearing at a future meeting.