Clint Richmond was instrumental in the creation and passing of the Brookline Plastic Bag Ban. He is also a member of the Green Caucus, an interest group within Brookline Town Meeting and the lead supporter of the ban. W2O intern, Phoebe Racine, interviewed Clint on July 25th.
Q. Why did you pushed for the Brookline Plastic Bag Ban?
A. There are 100 billion non degradable plastic bags used in this country every year. Plastic Bags create serious problems for aquatic life. Plastic bags from Brookline can make their way into the Atlantic Ocean via the Charles and Muddy rivers. Our bylaw was modeled after a State Bill that has beed stalled for years, and passing it here not only puts Brookline on a sustainable path but demonstrates support for the Bill. This Brookline bylaw is simply an attempt to apply this proposed law at the local level. We also hoped it would inspire similar action across the state.
Q. How do you feel about the proposed Massachusetts Statewide Plastic Bag Ban? Is this a law you would like to have passed?
A. Yes, I see the ban against polystyrene food packaging that we passed at the same time as equally important. Both have generated interest across the state. For example, Great Barrington and Manchester by the Sea have just passed similar bag bans. Though, it’s important to remember that we weren’t the first town to pass a plastic bag ban. In 1998, Nantucket passed a much more comprehensive packaging bylaw. Nantucket created a powerful model for others to follow.
Q. Do you think Brookline’s Ban will effect the current bill (H3438)?
A. Yes, because of Brookline and other towns, there is a lot more momentum than last year. Last year was good. Last year was the first time is got out of the Environment Committee. With the media coverage and the three new towns that have passed similar bans, we have much more hope that it will pass this legislative session.