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Plastic ban petitioners in Bozeman race for signatures as deadline approaches

The proposed ban will rid grocery stores in the City of Bozeman of single-use plastic bags and certain types of styrofoam.
Posted at 8:31 PM, Jul 03, 2024

BOZEMAN — With only a few weeks left to get signatures, petitioners are racing against time to get a plastic ban on Bozeman’s November ballot.

"One grocery store in Bozeman, for one year, hands out between 1.2 and 1.5 million plastics bags," says Terry Quatraro.

In 2021, the Montana state legislature passed a law that banned regulation single-use plastics.

In March of 2023, after a Bozeman environment lawyer challenged the law, a district court ruled the ‘ban on bans’ unconstitutional.

Quatraro says, "People need to be aware that any process, whether it’s creating the plastic, using the plastic, throwing the plastic away, or even recycling the plastic—many dangerous, toxic chemicals are used."

I asked local shoppers if they use plastic alternatives or would consider voting for a ban.

Mike, a local shopper, says,"Always, when I can. In fact, I reused everything I get from the store pretty much every time. I don’t think we should be supporting big oil the way we do, and this plastic—its big oil."

But others aren’t convinced a ban is the answer.

"Capitalist consumerism is killing the planet. And banning single use plastics is a feeble attempt to show the people, or rather make the people imagine, that they’re somehow saving the planet or environment," expressed another shopper.

Quatraro says, "But if we made enough of an impact with plastics bags, I think that sends a message to the manufacturers of these plastic substances that we won’t tolerate that kind of invasion in our bodies and our environment.

The invasion Terry refers to? Microplastics. And she says they’ve been found everywhere from waterways to newborn babies.

Those interested in signing the proposal must live within Bozeman city limits. The deadline is July 15.

For further details on the proposal, visit the Montana Plastic Free website.