A potential ban on single-use plastic bags was against delayed Tuesday night after the City Council appeared gridlocked on a few details.
The proposals to eliminate the bags primarily used at the grocery store checkout has been nearly six years in the making since Attorney Rinaldo Del Gallo first petitioned for it in conjunction with a ban on styrofoam. The two were uncoupled and in 2015 the City Council passed a ban on Styrofoam food containers.
Big Y Foods Inc., one of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England, will eliminate its use of the bags from all 70 of its markets, specialty stores and Big Y Express Gas and Convenience locations in 2020.
The ban proposal had been raised by Committee Chairman Eric Buddington, who said he had been looking into ban put in place by other communities. About 69 or 70 municipalities in Massachusetts have prohibitions on the plastic bags, with some including polystyrene containers.
The petition, filed by the Green Commission and local attorney Rinaldo Del Gallo, is before the City Council now. It would place a ban on certain single-use plastic bags — mostly the plastic bags used for groceries at the supermarket. But the enforcement of that falls on the Board of Health, which says it wouldn't be able to do regular inspections.
But if it passes the City Council, Pittsfield will not be the second community in Berkshire County to ban single-use plastic bags, it will be the seventh. Four years of study later, it is time to end the paralysis of analysis and protect tourism and the environment.