PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A proposed plastic bag ban in Providence cleared its first hurdle Thursday night.
The council passed the Retail Plastic Bag Reduction Act for the first time. It needs a second vote before it can become law.
Several other cities and towns already have similar bans on plastic bags, and lawmakers behind the proposal in Providence say it will make the city cleaner and greener.
On Saturday, Eyewitness News spoke with several residents and small businesses to get their reaction to the ordinance.
“If it creates a little bit of an inconvenience for people, so be it. I mean I think we have to think longterm about our environment and if it’s something that helps combat issues, then I’m 100 percent behind it,” Adam Barrick said.
If it’s passed, check out bags would need to be paper, designed for re-use, or be made from 100 percent recycled plastic.
“It does create a burden, there’s no doubt that we’re going to have an additional cost,” Harry Adler, co-owner of Adler’s Hardware said.
Adler’s Hardware hands out about one thousand plastic bags a month. While eco-friendly bags will cost more, the business supports the measure if it will help the environment.
“If it does cut down on ecological waste, then at the end of the day I’m in favor of it,” Adler said.
If the proposed ordinance does become law, there would be a six month grace period for Providence businesses to prepare and use up the plastic bags they have in stock.
“This is our 100th year in business and we’ve had to do a lot of adapting to stick around that long, and we’ll adapt again,” Adler said.
Despite vetoing similar legislation last year, a spokesperson for Mayor Jorge Elorza says the administration supports the ordinance.