BROOKLINE, MA ? Brookline will hold two special town meetings next month to consider bans on the use of disposable polystyrene (or Styrofoam) for take-out food packages and disposable plastic shopping bags, the Boston Globe reports.
Businesses oppose the bans, maintaining the alternatives for Styrofoam cups are unsuitable and banning plastic bags could cost both businesses and consumers more money.
The Styrofoam proposal, initiated by Brookline Town Meeting member Nancy Heller, would affect the packaging for take-out meals at local restaurants as well as coffee cups. ?No more morning joe in Styrofoam cups,? she said.
The ban would affect food and beverages from being packaged on the premises of any Brookline store but would not affect products packaged outside of town. It would take effect December 1, 2013.
The plastic bag ban would require any store that provides check-out bags to customers to use compostable, marine-degradable bags as well as reusable check-out bags and recyclable bags. Violations would incur a $50 fine for the first offense, $100 for the second offense, and a mandatory court appearance for a third offense.
The Brookline Chamber of Commerce is studying the likely impact of the proposals, executive director Harry Robinson said. He expressed initial concern that the compostable bags that would be allowed under the plastic bag ban would add costs to businesses.