Group pushes for plastic bag ordinance in Gettyburg

GETTYSBURG BOROUGH, Adams County - The civic group 'Gettysburg Rising' is requesting for borough council members to impose a plastic bag and straw ordinance.

The ban would most impact grocery stores and restaurants.

"My research has shown that it takes about 500 years for a plastic bag to break down, and when it breaks down into microplastics. It doesn`t completely go away, " said the chair for Gettysburg Rising, Jenny Dumont.

The group is asking the borough to include three items in the ordinance. First, to place a ban on single-use plastic bags in grocery stores. Second, to collect a tax on every disposable bag issued at grocery stores. Lastly, they want all local eateries to voluntarily stop supplying straws to customers unless they ask.

Dumont believes the ordinance would work in Gettysburg because she has seen it work in other areas.

"Other places in Maryland and Montgomery County and DC. And I know that they're effective at getting people to change their habits," said Dumont.

The restaurant, Gettysburg Eddies, has served the community for 20 years. The owner says he would not have an issue if the borough were to put the ordinance into place.

"It could be great for the environment," said the owner of Gettysburg Eddies, Williams Wills.

According to Wills, the waiters at his restaurant always ask customers if they want straws instead of just voluntarily giving them away to customers.

"Before it was always you rip the paper off. You leave the piece on top and put it in the drink for every drink that went out. Now we pick up the straws and take them to the table," said Wills.

Dumont believes that if this ordinance would be better for the community it the environment.

"I think that we would see a lot less plastic bags. You see them, unfortunately, you see plastic bags being littered. You see council members walk around town. It`s going to clean upper streets and streams."

The group will take their request to a borough council meeting scheduled for Monday, May 13th at 7:00 p.m.

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