February 18, 2018
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Kennebunk panel eyes plastic bag fees like those approved in Portland

By Jennifer Feals, York County Coast Star

KENNEBUNK, Maine — The town’s Energy Efficiency Committee is exploring a five-cent fee for plastic shopping bag usage.

Members of the committee approached the Board of Selectmen earlier this week proposing a non-binding question on the November ballot that would gauge community interest on the charge.

The fee would be retained by the merchant.

“We would request a non-binding question at the election to find the level of interest in the public for a plastic bag fee. This fee would be very similar to the one that’s up in Portland,” said Dennis Andersen, chairman of the Energy Efficiency Committee, which sought information from the board on what process the committee should follow.

Selectman Chairman Al Searles told the committee to draft the language of the non-binding question and return to the board for input. The board would decide whether or not it was put on the ballot.

“I would suggest doing the language and then that would lead you in the directions you want to go or not to go. Rather than us sitting here trying to do it for you,” Searles said. “If the board doesn’t like it, you can always send it out as a [citizen’s] petition.”

The Portland City Council last week approved five-cent fees on both paper and plastic bags distributed in checkout lines around the city.

That same night, the Portland council approved a ban on polystyrene containers in the city.

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