3 April 2023 EAC Meeting Summary
The Newtown Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) held a special meeting on April 3, 2023, to educate local businesses and residents about a proposed ordinance to ban single-use plastics by township restaurants and retail businesses.
The main attraction was a presentation (see below) by Faran Savitz, Zero Waste Advocate, PennEnvironment, who summarized the environmental and health problems posed by non-recyclable plastics and made a case for banning single-use plastics. The presentation was followed by a question-and-answer session.
Several local business owners and representatives were present at the meeting and made comments/asked questions. The following audio recordings highlight the major discussions.
Use this online form if you have comments or questions about the single-use plastics ordinance proposed by Newtown Township's Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) at its April 3, 2023, public meeting. Supply your name and email address if you would like the EAC to get back to you with answers. You may also submit questions and/or comments to EAC via email: to firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug Haines, owner of Newtown Chocolatier located on Richboro Road, had some concerns about the impact on his business of the proposed single-use plastics ban.
Faran Savitz, Zero Waste Advocate, Penn Environment, had some suggestions for alternatives and Newtown Supervisor mentioned that there are exemptions available if all else fails.
Maryann Verdan, McCaffrey's Markets VP of Operations, suggested that Newtown Township wait for legislation at the state level before enacting its own version of a single-use plastics ban. She suggested the passage of such legislation might happen by the end of the year.
Ms. Verdan suggested that by enacting a single-use plastics ban in Newtown McCaffrey's would be at a "competitive disadvantage" to stores like Giant in Middletown, which does not have such a ban.
A resident asked why does each municipality have to pass laws banning single-use plastics. She suggested that this should be done at the state level. Other commenters suggested that action be taken at the federal level.
Faran Savitz, Zero Waste Advocate, Penn Environment, explained that without action by many local governments it is very unlikely that the state or federal governments will act quickly. It's all about politics and the influence of the fossil fuels industry.
Alisa Shargorodsky, Founder & CEO of Echo Systems, provided some information about Echo Systems services that help businesses find alternatives to single-use plastics.
The following is a montage of photos taken at the meeting.