Will Franklin Go Green?


Kate Vickery speaks at the mic.

Grace Griffin, Writer

The Franklin chapter of the Bring Your Own Bag proposal, led by FHS senior Alycia Felli, was brought before the Franklin Town Council last Wednesday for an open discussion.

Along with a group of over ten other students, Alycia introduced a presentation outlining the goals and desired implications of the proposal.

Some key ideas included preserving fossil fuels, protecting wildlife, and ensuring proper recycling. For more information, visit massgreen.org or another article going more in depth about the goals of the petition.

The presentation also addressed possible concerns, such as the cost of reusable bags and alternatives for disposing of pet waste. The group pointed out the low cost of reusable bags, ranging from ten cents to one dollar. To tackle the pet waste debate, they suggested produce bags, bread bags, and newspaper bags.

36 towns in Massachusetts have already implemented a bylaw similar to this, and House Bill 663 has been introduced to the floor, which means that the entirety of Massachusetts will abide by this law in the near future as well. This Bring Your Own Bag petition would set Franklin ahead of the majority and showcase it in an environmentally friendly light.

If the bylaw passes, it will not take effect until approximately the summer of 2017, and will include a six month transition period for people to adjust, and to allow businesses to use the inventory they have already purchased.

If passed, both big chain stores and small businesses would be obliged to adhere to the bylaw or they will face fines starting at $25. However, Alycia and the student group pointed out the opportunity for small businesses especially to use reusable bags as an advertisement by adding their company name or logo.

After the presentation, many of the town councilors congratulated the students on their organization, knowledge, and articulacy.

Councilman Jones also pointed out his hope to “keep Franklin as green and friendly as we can”.

With the help of town administrators, the group has already drafted a bylaw similar to those passed by other Massachusetts towns.

The town council has put this proposal on their agenda and will discuss and vote on it soon.