To the editor:
I was on the Barrington Planning Board in the 1990s when McDonalds proposed bringing one of their restaurants to town. One of the big concerns expressed by residents at the hearings was the amount of litter that would be created. The representatives from McDonalds offered to patrol the neighborhood, including Wood’s Pond and the gazebo, and pick up the trash there regularly.
I’m reminded of this, because every day I walk the stretch of Barrington Beach between Water Way and Watson Avenue. With the wind finally switching to the southwest, the trash from Narragansett Bay that typically gets washed up on our beach has returned. What is new is the number of Dunkin Donuts cups I find in the beach’s west parking lot and along this stretch of beach. These cups are not weathered or water-worn; they have been dropped as litter by beachgoers, mostly in the evening or at night.
Mike Martel of Bristol suggested ironically in his editorial that we ban any number of comestibles. I suggest instead that we make the vendors whose containers end up as litter be responsible for that litter.
Perhaps take-out restaurants could charge a nominal free for drink cups, to encourage folks to fill up their reusable mugs and bottles.
Barrington may be derided for banning plastic bags in town, but I think it’s been a success. I suggest that plastic cups may be the town’s next target.
E. Jenny K. Flanagan