The Town of York is considering a proposal drafted by York High School’s Eco Club to ban both the use and sale of single-use plastic utensils, straws, and cups.
According to the Bangor Daily News, a public hearing is scheduled for July 24 to consider placing the ordinance on the November ballot.
Only two cities nationwide, both in California, have to-date enacted bans similar to the one proposed in York.
Under the Eco Club’s ordinance, reusable dishes would be required in circumstances where dishwashing facilities are available. Alternatively, businesses that primarily offer take-out would be required to incentivize customers to bring their own dishes.
Plastic condiment packets would continue to be allowed under the ordinance, but would only be handed out at the customer’s request.
Although healthcare centers would be exempted from the Eco Club’s proposed ban, they would nonetheless be encouraged to comply with the restrictions.
Additionally, disabled individuals would be allowed under the ban to bring their own single-use utensils to restaurants.
That said, the Eco Club’s proposed ordinance would also prohibit the sale of single-use plastics by retailers in town.
Violations of the ordinance would result in a warning for a first offense, a $250 fine for a second, and a $500 fine for each additional offense.
This is not the first time that the Town of York has been at the forefront of the movement to ban plastic products. In 2015, the town banned plastic shopping bags, and four years later, it voted to ban polystyrene foam containers. Both these measures were later passed statewide.
The York High School Eco Club has already been successful at banning plastic utensils from their school cafeteria, according to reporting from the Portland Press Herald.