While I was glad to see an article in the Record about the proposed bag fee in Warwick, I would like to clarify several points.
First, this proposal was a longterm collaborative effort first brought up by Sustainable Warwick but including the town, the two supermarkets, the Food Industry Alliance and the Chamber of Commerce. Sustainable Warwick also obtained more than 1,500 signatures on a petition favoring a law to reduce disposal bags.
Second, no one "talks" Supervisor Michael Sweeton into anything. Sweeton does his homework, and, as he explained at the first hearing Feb. 22, he has spoken at the senior centers to ascertain their take on the law and found that the majority already bring their own bags.
Third, the law itself exempts from the 5-cent fee anyone receiving food assistance. The supervisor, and those advocating for the law, are concerned with others of limited means who may not fit into that category, and interested in how to address that.
Finally, I was disappointed that the article did not point out the reason for this proposal. Both plastic and paper single use bags pose a serious waste problem. Almost no plastic bags are recycled, but often end up in waterways and eventually oceans, where they pose a major pollution problem. They are also a health risk, for the toxic particles they break down into enter our food system. Substituting reusable bags for disposal ones would benefit us all.