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Mamaroneck Teaches Community About Plastic Bag Ban

Some retailers have already stopped using plastic bags in Mamaroneck.
Some retailers have already stopped using plastic bags in Mamaroneck. Photo Credit: Chaya Babu

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- The Village of Mamaroneck is getting ready for its official ban on single-use plastic bags to go into effect April 1.

A documentary screening about the harmful effects of plastic on the environment was shown Sunday at the Mamaroneck Public Library, with Mayor Norm Rosenblum addressing viewers after the film.

"It's not a perfect answer to the impacts of plastic," Rosenblum said of the ban. "But as far as the Village of Mamaroneck is concerned, it's a step in the right direction on two basic levels: one is in terms of flooding, because it prevents some plastic bags that would get caught in the storm drains, and the other is the cost on the environment."

The documentary, "Bag It," is Susan Beraza’s award-winning film that investigates plastics and their effects on waterways, oceans and people. It's a story about an average guy who makes a resolution to stop using plastic bags at the grocery store and learns about how his simple decision could mean big change.

Along with the mayor, Trustee Ilissa Miller, the Committee for the Environment, and Patti Wood of Grassroots Environmental Education attended the screening.

"Almost every environmental consequence has a human health consequence, from wild fires to global warming to the use of plastics," Wood said. "Every little piece of plastic that ends up in the oceans, which is a great amount, and plastics persist because they don't break down easily. As plastic photodegrades, it becomes a magnet for toxic chemicals like persistent organic pollutants."

Eliminating plastic bags could have a big effect on a local level - old bags won't hang from tree branches, clog gutters and fill dumps.

"It has to do with a matter of education and changing the habits of the people in the community," Rosenblum said.

About 50 people attended the screening, about half of whom were children.

"A lot of the comments were from the kids, so the next generation is concerned, and that's who we're doing this for: the next generation," he said.

"Any effort to reduce plastics in our environment is huge," Wood said. "It's really a heroic action that our communities are taking."

The public hearing on the ordinance will take place Tuesday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m. in the Larchmont Village Hall Court Room.

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