DARIEN, Conn. – Choose to Reuse in Darien is pushing ahead with its plan to implement a townwide ban on plastic shopping bags. It has gone before many town boards and talked with businesses all over Darien, and the Board of Selectmen will further discuss the proposed ordinance at its meeting Tuesday.
At its last meeting, the board heard testimony from Choose to Reuse, as well as from Greg Palmer of Palmer's Market and other representatives of the supermarket industry. Palmer argued that, although plastic bags pose a threat to the environment and agreed their use should be limited, a legal ban on the bags could harm local grocers and drive business to surrounding towns.
But Darien resident Germaine Hecq told the board a ban would infringe on a citizen's right to make their own choices. "Is the next step that you're going to tell us how many people we can have in our cars?" Hecq asked the board. "I don't like you taking away my choice. It's my choice if I want to put a leaky roast in with my vegetables."
In an email, Darien resident Chris Filmer wrote that, although people will want to make their own choices and corporate interest will protect the status quo, evidence points to the damaging effects of plastic bags. Legislators should do something about it, Filmer said.
"One of the things good government can do is save us from ourselves," Filmer said. Some legislators "will take the path of least resistance and latch onto the critics who cry, 'Don't take away my rights,' even when by exercising those rights, they are soiling their own nests and the nests of others, with devastating consequences."
The Board of Selectmen will discuss the proposed ordinance Tuesday at 7:45 p.m. in Room 206 of Town Hall.