Measure goes into effect in April 2015
PORTLAND, Maine —The Portland City Council voted 6-3 in favor of a 5-cent fee on disposable shopping bags during their meeting on Monday night.
The measure will go into effect in April 2015.
The ordinance originally called for a 10 cent fee, but that has been cut in half, and stores get to keep the profit.
The ordinance applies to stores that sell food, including supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies and farmer’s markets.
“It’ll be more expensive and I don’t want to put this charge on our customer,” Barbara Anania, owner of Anania’s variety said. “I think it’s not customer friendly and I think people will be very mad about it and I don’t think the city could make a decision on how we package our goods to get them out the door,” Annania said.
City councilor Jon Hinck is cleaning up areas of Back Cove. “There was a great array of garbage all along the Back Cove. But the one thing that it reminded me is that we’re a city on the water and it’s one of the reasons we should do this and control the plastic and other junk that goes into the ocean,” Hinck said.
The public had a chance to talk about the proposal before the vote, with public comment going on for about two hours on Monday night.
City councilors also voted 6-3 in favor of a ban on Styrofoam containers. The ban goes into effect in April 2015.