Stonington appoints members to plastic bags, straws committee

By Joe Wojtas
The New London Day 8/22/2018

Stonington — The Board of Selectmen on Wednesday appointed most of the members of a task force that will look into banning plastic bags used by retail stores, and straws and takeout containers used by restaurants.

First Selectman Rob Simmons told the members that he will convene their first meeting within the next seven to 10 days, at which time they will elect a chairman and secretary. They then will have 90 days to submit a report to the Board of Selectmen.

The members are Thaler Hefel of Clean Up Sound and Harbors, Moira Daisey of the Mystic Chamber of Commerce, Beth Markowski-Roop from the Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce, Water Street Cafe co-owner Stephanie Hayes-Houlihan and residents Farrah Kaeser, Erika Lebling, Jason Hine and alternate Don Kluberdanz. Selectmen still have to appoint three more alternate members.

Simmons said members may want to travel to some of the towns in Rhode Island that have implemented bans. He recommended that they talk with members of the business and environmental community to come up with recommendations that are achievable.

The selectmen formed the task force after receiving requests from residents Stuart Schwartzstein and Ben Philbrick to create a committee to best determine how to deal with the problem of plastic pollution in town waters.