Brookline Styrofoam & Plastic Bag Ban Going Into Effect On Sunday

BROOKLINE, Mass. (CBS/AP) — Brookline’s ban on plastic shopping bags and styrofoam is set to begin on Sunday, but those charged with enforcing the law say they plan to phase the change in gradually.

The town voted last year to ban plastic bags and polystyrene — some plastic and foam — containers.

Alan Balsam, Brookline’s director of public health and human services has said he’s allowing retailers to use up their current inventories of the disposable plastic bags before switching to acceptable alternative bags.

He plans to begin enforcing the ban of polystyrene food and beverage containers starting in January.

According to a Brookline Tab report from last month, Balsam says about 75 businesses will be impacted by the plastic bag ban, while more than 350 businesses will have to adhere to the styrofoam ban, including every restaurant in town.

Supporters expect the ban will cut down on trash and keep the foam products, which take years to break down, out of landfills.

However, opponents called it government overreach and have said the decision should be up to the businesses and the consumers who patronize them.

Several other communities nationwide have barred the use of polystyrene, including Great Barrington.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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