Volunteers Cleanup Back Cove as City Council Vote Approaches on Ordinances Tomorrow

Todd Norton, With Some of the Trash from the Cleanup at Back Cove

Todd Norton, With Some of the Trash from the Cleanup at Back Cove

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 2,122)

About fifteen or twenty volunteers took time out of a gorgeous Father’s Day to cleanup Back Cove this morning.  What they found was interesting and not surprising said Todd Martin, of the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

What volunteers found was about 90% single-use plastic bags including candy-wrappers and the like.  They also found styrofoam items such as cups.  These are the items that clog up sewer systems and pollute the pristine waters of the Maine coast.  “We are doing this beach clean up to show support for two ordinances that the City Council is voting on tomorrow. It’s about a 5 cent fee on plastic and paper bags at most retailers.  Farmers’ markets and dry cleaners are exempted for this fee,” said Martin. “We are simply trying to encourage shoppers to use their own reusable bags rather than plastic and paper.”  Big box stores ultimately will be the ones most affected by this fine. The retailers will keep the 5 cent fine.

Dozens of towns and cities have put fines on them or banned them outright.  People have become aware of a huge swirling patch of plastic and styrofoam the size of Texas off the California coast. “We don’t want something like that off our coast,” Martin said.

“I hope that the majority of city councilors will vote in favor of this fine.  We need it,” Martin said.