At the request of the Camden Select Board, the Camden Conservation Commission has developed two draft ordinances to address the environmental harms caused by single-use plastic bags and polystyrene food containers. Many towns in Maine already have such ordinances and others are developing them.
A subcommittee of the Conservation Commission reviewed existing ordinances and has sought feedback from retailers who would be affected by these ordinances. The draft ordinances and answers to “frequently asked questions” can be found on the Pen Bay Chamber of Commerce website: camdenrockland.com/news/camden-considers-new-plastic-ordinances
In brief, the purpose of the Camden Single-Use Bag Ordinance is to reduce the use of single-use bags and encourage the use of reusable bags (or no bags, when they are not needed).
The draft Ordinance requires that stores charge a 10-cent fee for any single use plastic bag.
Stores that sell food, household supplies or other perishable items (including supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience food stores, food marts and pharmacies) would also be required to charge a 10-cent fee for single-use paper, compostable or biodegradable bags.
Stores that do not sell the above goods and that do not use plastic bags would be unaffected by the ordinance. There is no charge for any bag that a customer brings into a store.
The Polystyrene Container Ban prohibits the use of polystyrene food and drink containers for any locally-prepared foods or drinks. This includes not only retail stores and restaurants, but also prohibits the use of polystyrene food containers at Camden-sponsored events or in any Camden town-owned facility.
Please take the time to read the ordinance and provide any constructive feedback you have. The e-mail addresses to provide feedback are included on the Chamber of Commerce link.