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Freeport council considers plastic bag ban

If Freeport eventually does ban disposable plastic bags, it would be the first town or city in Maine to do so.
Plastic grocery bags

FREEPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The town of Freeport could be following in the steps of Portland.

The town is taking the next step toward either putting a fee on, or outright banning, single-use bags.

Town councilors voted Tuesday night to have the Solid Waste and Recycling Committee research how a fee or ban would affect the environment. They also voted in favor of the Freeport Economic Development Corporation performing an analysis of the economic impact of a fee or ban.

The majority of Freeport residents who spoke at the town council meeting were in favor of a ban, saying plastic bags are unattractive when littered and bad for the environment.

If a ban does eventually go through, Freeport would be the first town or city in Maine to do so.

"I think it's a great idea for us to show this kind of leadership," Councilor Kristina Egan said. "We still have to gather more information, and I'm open to considering all of that, but it's a symbolic move. It shows that Freeport is continuing in its history of protecting the environment."

The idea of banning plastic bags was first proposed by two Freeport High School graduates who argued that the bags clutter landfills, litter oceans and contaminate sea life.

Major cities to ban bags include Portland, Oregon and San Francisco, and New England towns and cities include Nantucket, Massachusetts, Manchester, Massachusetts and Westport, Connecticut.

Councilors said they're still considering all options.