banning plastic bags

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Another Berkshires community is attempting to ban businesses from using plastic shopping bags and other items like Styrofoam.

Mollie VanSant

Come March, stores in Great Barrington, Massachusetts will not be allowed to use the plastic bags retailers have been dishing out for years.

A campaign called Bring Your Own Bag Saratoga, a project from the group Sustainable Saratoga, is reaching out to city government, businesses and members of the public to decrease the use of plastic shopping bags.

The group is hoping to reduce pollution and encourage city residents to shop with reusable bags. Though plastic shopping bags are recyclable, the group claims less than five percent of bags are recycled, and most can only be recycled into other products once. If released into the environment, plastic bags cause harm to birds and marine animals.

Taber Andrew Bain/Flickr

MAMARONECK – Effective Monday, disposable plastic bags will not be available at check-out counters in the Village of Mamaroneck. That municipality joins the City of Rye and Larchmont, all in Westchester County, in banning those bags.  The Towns of Mamaroneck and the Village of Tuckahoe are next to consider outlawing them.

The Citizens Campaign for the Environment lauds the efforts, said Jordan Christensen, the Hudson Valley program coordinator for the organization, who said Long Island communities are also enacting similar legislation.