Ordinance Public Meeting Videos

Videos of all Board of Selectmen meetings are available on the Town's website. Below are direct links to specific BOS discussions regarding the single-use carryout bag ordinance with notes on start times.

The BOS meeting video is available online: Feb. 17 BOS Video. (Note: the BYOB Ordinance discussion begins at approx. 1hr 37 min in and runs for about 20 mins.)

March 23 Public Hearing Video (Note: Ordinance discussion begins at 1 hr 8 min into the video and runs for 20 minutes.)

April 21 Work Session Video with the Board of Selectmen to advance the wording of the ordinance. (Note: Ordinance discussion is first portion of this video and runs for 50 minutes.)

June 8 BOS Meeting Video final discussion and amendments before sending to Town Attorney for review. (Note: Ordinance discussion begins with BYOB York presentation at 46 minutes and runs for 23 minutes.)

Students at July 27 Hearing

July 27 Public Hearing Video (Note: Public comments on proposed bag ordinance begins at 1 hr 25 minutes and ends 18 minutes later. We draw your attention to comments by two incoming York High freshmen, Caroline Leal and Payton Nickerson, speaking on behalf of their generation which begins at 1 hr 30 min.)

Why Support A Reusable Bag Ordinance?

Portland Business Sign BYOB York has been working with the Natural Resources Council of Maine to develop an ordinance for York. They have worked with Portland and are working with other coastal Maine towns trying to create ordinances in their towns. Please read their document, "Why Support a Reusable Bag Ordinance?".

The York Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance

York Bag Ordinance Approved by Voters
November 3, 2015

BYOB York initiated a proposed single-use bag ordinance for the Town of York in 2015. Working with Natural Resources Council of Maine staff and following the success of a carryout bag ordinance in Portland, our ordinance was presented to the York Board of Selectmen in February. After two additional presentations including a work session with the Board of Selectmen and a public hearing, the current Board-backed proposed ordinance is for a ban on plastic carryout bags and applies to all retail estabishments in the Town of York. See details on the evolution of the ordinance text below.

A June 9th revision of the ordinance was sent to the Town Counsel for review and the ordinance was on the Board of Selectmen's agenda on July 27. The changes recommended by the Town Consel were accepted and incorporated into the current version of the ordinance, dated July 30th. There was a final public hearing on August 24. The Board of Selectmen endorsed the ordinance 5-0.The York bag ordinance was on the ballot November 3, 2015. Voters approved the ordinance 59%-41%.

Full Ordinance - Certified Copy 11/03/2015 (from Town website)

Evolution of the Ordinance

Feb. 5 First Draft - Ordinance Summary. The purpose of this legislation is to minimize the usage of single-use carryout bags in the Town of York, Maine. It requires that York stores, where sales of food represent more than 2% of gross sales, charge a minimum fee of five cents ($0.05) for each single-use carryout plastic or paper bag. Customers using their own reusable bags will not be charged. All fees collected may be used by the store for any lawful purpose. Complete 1st Draft Text »

April 17 Second Draft Changes. Prior to our worksession with the BOS on April 21, we discussed the idea of simplifying the enforcement effort on the Town as it related to the definition of the businesses to be included. The proposed ordinance discussed on April 21, included a simplified definition of Store in Section 4 and added the words Carryout to the title. Complete 2nd Draft Text»

June 1 Third Draft. The result of the April workshop was a recommendation to remove the provision for mandatory charging for paper and plastic bags and replace it with a straight ban on plastic bags, applicable to all retail businesses in York. This version was on the agenda of the June 8 BOS meeting. Complete 3rd Draft Text »

July 10 Fourth Draft. At the June 8 BOS meeting, the BOS voted (5-0) to advance the ordinance with three areas amended by the BOS: 1) wording was added to Secton 4B to clarify that retail businesses have the choice to "reward" customers who bring reusable bags instead with a discount or not; 2) the word "fish" was added to Section 5A to the list of "wet" items sold that may be bagged in thin plastic bags that prevent moisture from leaking; and 3) reduced fines from $250 and $500 for the first and subsequent violation to $50 and $100, respectively. The amended version was sent to Town Counsel for review. The 4th Draft was commented upon at a Public Hearing on July 27.

July 30 Proposed Ordinance. After the public hearing of July 27th and receipt of the recommended edits of Town Counsel, a revised ordinance was prepared on July 30. The fifth round changes were all advised by the Town Counsel and mostly entail replacing the use of the word Store(s) with Retail Establishment(s) and improving consistency of terminology used throughout the document. The fifth and final version of the ordinance was supported with a 5-0 vote by the Board of Selectmen. It will be article number 7 on the November 3, 2015, ballot. Please support it.

Why is getting rid of single-use plastic bags a good thing?

The production and use of single-use carryout bags has significant impacts on the environment of all coastal communities, including, but not limited to; contributing to the potential death of marine animals through ingestion and entanglement, contributing to pollution of the land environment, creating a burden to our solid waste collection and recycling facility, clogging our storm drainage systems, deforestation, and increased greenhouse gas emission, and the use of millions of barrels of crude oil nationally for their manufacture.  In addition;