Waterville plastic bag ban fight intensifies

Waterville plastic bag ban fight intensifies

By Paul Dwyer | 

WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) The fight between the Sustain Mid-Maine Coalition and Waterville Mayor Nick Isgro is ramping up on the issue of banning plastic bans.

“We are trying to follow the lead of 15 other towns in Maine that have banned or put a small fee on plastic bags to reduce the amount we’re using in Waterville,” says Todd Martin, member of the Sustain Mid-Maine Coalition.

The coalition was successful in getting Waterville City Council to pass the resolution, which only applies to businesses 10,000 square feet or larger such as Hannaford, Shaw’s, or Walmart. However, it was vetoed last week by Isgro.

“We are certainly frustrated that the Mayor vetoed that resolution,” says Martin. “We think that the Mayor is trying to silence the voices of Waterville voters.”

Isgro did not respond to request for comment. He did post this on Facebook, though:

“The proposed ban on reusable, recyclable plastic bags is a distraction from important issues. Outside national pressure groups are behind it and the city council and local lobbyists – seeking a political “victory” – have allowed themselves to become caught up in another national trending issue instead of focusing on real victories for our community.”

Martin denies that claim.

“This is not an effort of ‘dark outside forces,’” says Martin. “We all live in Waterville. We want to make our city cleaner and greener and healthier.”

Earlier today on Facebook, Isgro went after Martin:

“…Todd Martin says that I am misleading residents by saying that the reusable plastic bags we all line our small waste bins with and carry our lunches in are good beyond one use. Are these lies part of their activist training manual?”

The City Council will vote on Tuesday in an attempt to override the Mayor’s veto. If they are successful, the issue will be on the ballot in November.

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