Voters in Southwest Harbor went to a special town meeting on Tuesday, November 13th and nearly unanimously voted to ban single use bags and polystyrene containers.

The motion to ban the single use bags passed 75 to 4 and the motion to pass the ban the polystyrene containers passed 73 to 4. Both ordinances will go into effect on April 22, 2019

The single use bag ban will not allow any commercial enterprise engaged in the sale of food and merchandise, including but not limited to grocery and convenience stores, markets, pharmacies, restaurants, take out food, temporary and other seasonal businesses and other merchant retailers to provide or sell a single use carryout bag to a customer at a check out stand, cash register or point of sale or other point of departure for the purpose of transporting goods or merchandise out of the establishment.

Stores may make a reusable bag or paper bag available either for free or a fee. Customers are encouraged to bring reusable bags to stores and customers may use bags of any type that they bring into the Store for their own use.

To read the entire ordinance click HERE

The polystyrene ban will affect a person or entity engaged in the sale or distribution of prepared food or beverages to consumers. This includes but is not limited to retail vendors of food or beverages, restaurants, take outs, schools, hospitals, religious institutions, governmental institutions, community centers, markets, temporary and or seasonal vendors and on site events.

Polystyrene foam is defined as expanded and extruded polystyrene foam and blown polystyrene generally used to make cups, bowls, plates, trays, clamshell containers, meat trays and egg cartons. This does not include oriented (clear) polystyrene.

Polystyrene foam food service containers are any food container made in whole or part, of polystyrene foam and is used to package or hold food or beverage for onsite or offsite consumption.

Under the ban no establishment in the Town of Southwest Harbor shall serve or sell prepared food in and no Food packer shall pack food in polystyrene foam food service containers. No party shall sell or distribute polystyrene foam food service containers within the Town of Southwest Harbor

Items prepackaged in polystyrene foam food service containers outside the Town of Southwest Harbor may be sold without repackaging those items.

Uncooked meat and seafood may be sold in polystyrene foam food service containers.

To read the full polystyrene foam food service container ordinance click HERE

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