Groton’s Oct. 5 enforcement date for plastic reduction ordinance approaching – theday.com
Groton — On Oct. 5 the town will begin enforcing a ban on plastic bags, plastic stirrers and polystyrene food containers, as well as plastic straws unless requested by a customer.
The ordinance, aimed at reducing plastic and polystyrene products to protect the environment and public health, went into effect in July. But due to the public health crisis and financial hardship facing businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town Council had approved a 90-day extension that delayed enforcement, said Bruce Lofgren, a planner for the town, during a business forum this week on the ordinance.
With the enforcement date fast approaching, the Economic Development Commission and town staff said they wanted to reach out to businesses, which have been focused on survival during the pandemic, to remind them of the ordinance and provide assistance if needed.
The ordinance prohibits food service establishments and businesses from providing single-use plastic shopping bags, plastic stirrers and polystyrene food service products, such as cups, bowls, plates, trays and clamshell containers. They can provide plastic straws only when customers ask for one.
Groton Economic and Community Development Manager Paige Bronk said by phone that he believes businesses’ struggles, as they deal with often limited operations and extra expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have not really allowed them to focus on plastic and polystyrene reduction to date, so he thinks there is still going to be a learning curve for many businesses in the community.
The Economic Development Commission held the forum on Monday