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Despite Legal Questions, Portsmouth Council Looks To Move Ahead On Plastic Bag Ban

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The Portsmouth City Council is considering a ban on single-use plastic bags – like the kind you get at the supermarket or drug store.

But despite seeking clarification from the Attorney General and Department of Environmental Services, the City of Portsmouth isn’t entirely sure it has the power to regulate plastic bags.

  Even so, Portsmouth City Councilor Brad Lown says officials have wasted enough time already trying to answer that question.

“It’s an effort in a small way in one city to change people’s habits so that they can bring reusable bags and we think it will have a positive impact on the environment.”

The measure would ban single-use plastic bags and force stores to charge at least 10 cents per recycled paper bag.

The city council will discuss the proposal and hear public comment tonight.

It could be months before the council votes on the ordinance.

Jason Moon is a senior reporter and producer on the Document team. He has created longform narrative podcast series on topics ranging from unsolved murders, to presidential elections, to secret lists of police officers.

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