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Hamden town council votes to approve single-use plastic bags and straw ban

Quinnipiac's Students for Environmental Action are working to follow Hamden's lead, wanting QU to do biodegradable.

Cali Kees

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In the next few weeks, there will be a lot less plastic in Hamden—Tuesday night the Hamden town council voted to eliminate single-use plastic bags. 

Brad MacDowell is the town council member who drafted this proposal. He has been working on it for the majority of the past year. 

“It feels pretty great to get it through,” MacDowell said. 

He believes that this ban will cause many positive impacts throughout the town of Hamden. 

“We’re talking about a large fiscal impact for taxpayers and we are talking about a large public health impact, we’re talking about a large environmental impact,” MacDowell said. “I think since the state has really failed to take action on this, it’s imperative that we protect our community.”

The council also voted to approve a piece of legislation that will reduce the use of plastic straws. Now restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, etc. in Hamden will only be giving customers straws if they ask for them. 

“I think about the positive impact on the community, while still offering individuals who need them, like individuals with movement disorders and other individuals who rely on the durability with the flexibility that the plastic straw offers—still allowing them, being inclusive,” MacDowell said. 

The passing of this ban is giving the Quinnipiac Students for Environmental Action (SEA) hope, that something similar might be in the future for the University. 

“It’s amazing that Hamden is about the be a catalyst for that sort of movement,” Vice President for  Students for Environmental Action, Leah Lavin, said. 

SEA has been working hard to get Quinnipiac to follow Hamden’s lead, to reduce the amount of plastic used on Quinnipiac’s campus. 

“We’re working with both QU Dining [and ] Facilities, we’re working with everybody on how we can attack this problem in the best way,” Lavin said. “Not just for the students but also for the University.” 

She explained that one member of SEA recently created an Instagram account dedicated to educating the Quinnipiac community on how much plastic that is used every year, “@gobioqu.” 

One post explains that each year, the Mount Carmel Cafe, uses nearly 250,000 plastic straws–31 miles of straws which is how many miles Hartford is from Quinnipiac.

Photo posted to the @gobioqu Instagram page.

While SEA is still working to make this a reality, once Mayor Curt Leng signs this legislation it will go into effect for Hamden in 30 days.

About the Writer
Cali Kees, News Director

Cali Kees is a senior journalism major from Wayne, NJ. She currently serves as the News Director for Q30 Television and was formerly an associate producer...

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