For Woburn City Councilor, Learning About Bag Ban Is Elementary

WOBURN, MA — Woburn City Council President Rich Haggerty spent time with some of his younger constituents Tuesday. Haggerty, who is running for state representative, visited a third grade class at Woburn’s Malcolm White Elementary School. There, the students read essays they had written in support of a plastic bag ban for Woburn.
“Visiting with Mrs. Bradbury’s 3rd Grade Class today. The students were terrific as they read their essays on banning plastic bags and we had a chance to talk about instituting a pet gecko for every class,” Haggerty wrote on Facebook after his visit. “Lots of laughs and great learning moment for the kids on how to engage your local government.”
No word yet on whether Haggerty will implement the Gecko bill as one of the prongs of his campaign platform as he runs for state representative. But Woburn is likely to consider whether or not to ban plastic shopping bags. More than 60 Massachusetts towns and cities have passed such bills, which are aimed at curbing waste.
And in neighboring Burlington, the effort is being pushed by a high school student. In November, Burlington High School sophomore Stavan Shah presented his proposal to ban plastic shopping bags in that town’s stores to the Burlington Conservation Commission last week.
Unlike their paper counterparts, plastic shopping bags are not typically accepted in recycling programs, meaning shoppers have to bring them back to the store to get them recycled, meaning only about 1% to 3% of them are recycled. Shah’s presentation included photos of bags littering different parts of Burlington.
In recent years, other Massachusetts communities have banned or considered banning plastic shopping bags that are a staple of most supermarkets. Other towns have collected taxes on all shopping bags, plastic or otherwise, as a way to provide an incentive for shoppers to bring their own shopping bags.