Shrewsbury Town Meeting defeats Styrofoam ban

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By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

Shrewsbury –  Shrewsbury Town Meeting members narrowly defeated a proposed bylaw (Article 14,) banning the use of polystyrene disposable food and beverage containers by food establishments, at Shrewsbury’s Annual Town Meeting held May 21 at the Oak Middle School Auditorium in Shrewsbury. The article was defeated in a standing vote, 87 to 84.

Brought forth by Ramesh Razdan, and students from Shrewsbury High School including his son Rahul Razdan, Anish Warty, Anirudh Iyer and Siddhant Dosi, the bylaw would have taken effect on January 1, 2020.

The Finance Committee was split four to three against the article.

The proponent’s argument centered on health and environmental concerns. They also said that there are many alternatives available and there is a bill currently before the state Senate banning it statewide.

John Campbell, Precinct 7 said, “…I agree with much of what you are saying and I support it. I just feel it should be a statewide effort and this House Bill 3015 might be the more appropriate venue.”

State Rep. Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury), a Town Meeting member as well as serving on the Finance Committee, provided the correct bill number which is HB-3252, and noted that legislators have been working to get this issue to the point where the House could consider it before it goes before the Senate.

Steve Vigeant, Precinct 2, commented on behalf of the Board of Health. He said that at their May 4 meeting the BOH discussed this article and philosophically, they agreed with the idea of getting rid of Styrofoam. But they also felt that they needed more community comments and to work with the proponents to come up with better language.

After more discussion, the vote was taken, ending with the article being defeated.