Head of the Medfield Plastic Bag Reduction Initiative Andy Costello addresses the community during a public forum at the Medfield Public Safety Building.
By Robby McKittrick
Hometown Weekly Reporter
On Thursday, November 15, the Medfield Plastic Bag Reduction Initiative hosted a public forum at the Medfield Public Safety Building to explain why it is important for the town to eliminate the use of plastic bags.
This was the first of two forums for the week, and the overall goal was to receive feedback from the community on their ideas.
“We [want the community] to give us their thoughts on [whether] they are for this or against this, and ask us questions about what this is all about,” explained the head of the Medfield Plastic Bag Reduction Initiative, Andy Costello. “Our goal would be to eliminate plastic bags at checkout because of the negative impact of the environment, the negative impact of the cost, the negative impact on our health, and the unsustainable number of plastic bags in the world right now.”
One of the audience members in attendance was Selectman Gus Murby. Murby is in favor of the decision to eliminate plastic bags, but wanted to learn more about how the process would work.
“I am absolutely on board with [the Initiative],” explained Murby. “The only feedback I had given the group … is that I would like us to do it in a way that works for the businesses and people in town.”
“I would expect that the community as a whole would be on board with this,” Murby added. “We will just try to do it in a way that garners the most community support.”
Another community member in attendance was Medfield resident Liz Sandeman.
“I think its very important that we reduce the use of one-time plastics,” Sandeman said. “I’m with my 13-year-old, and it’s his generation and future generations that are going to pay the price.”
Costello led a PowerPoint presentation, and she first explained why reducing plastic bags is important to the community.
“There are direct costs and indirect costs to all of us,” she said.
Costello explained that there are 100 billion plastic bags used per year, which creates a ton of unnecessary waste.
“Plastic bags do not biodegrade,” Costello explained. “We are eating plastic.”
In addition to creating environmental issues and negative health impacts, Costello also explained that getting rid of plastic bags won’t hurt businesses, but will actually help them. She then stated that 88 towns have now banned plastic bags, and that it is important to instill this change to help the community as a whole.
“This is our community, and we do have an ability to affect change,” she said. “Education [alone] won’t solve the problems in the long turn … Our everyday change effects the planet.”