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Would Arlington Town Meeting vote to support a ban on certain plastic bottles -- or shoot it down?

The public expects to know this spring after Arlington High School students, or their representatives, present the historic article to the annual meeting and its members vote. 

Selectmen voted March 18 not to recommend approval.

An unscientific poll published at YourArlington beginning Feb. 17 is running slightly in favor of the ban, according to results at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24. See the poll and results here >> 

Last September and October, YourArlington published a poll on this issue after Concord had approved its ban on plastic bottles. The headline reflects the results of that poll: "55% say no to plastic-bottle ban here"

From 9 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, through 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, the poll asked whether you think Arlington should follow Concord and support an effort to ban plastic water bottles of 1 liter or less in town. Here are the results among 85 voters:

No: 47 (55%)

Yes: 35 (41%)

No opinion: 3 (4%)

This spring's Arlington warrant article, believed to be the first brought by students here, has been offered by three from an AHS environmental club, SAVE. They would like Arlington to ban polyethylene terephthalate (PET) water bottles of 1 liter or less in Arlington.

The Advocate has published a news story based on a one-question survey the weekly newspaper conducted with the Arlington Chamber of Commerce as well as reporting.

The story's first paragraph says:

"Many business owners who don't sell single-serving plastic water bottles support a proposed ban on the items, while several who do sell the bottles oppose the idea, a recent survey suggests."

The Chamber’s website lists 230 member businesses, including 20 restaurants and food- or beverage-related places.

The Advocate reported the survey received 59 responses and that 53 said they would not be affected by a bottled-water ban.

The survey asked: "Would your business be affected by a ban on the sale of single-serving plastic water bottles – in other words, 1-liter polyethylene terephthalate bottles of non-sparkling, unflavored drinking water? Yes/No."

Those offering reasons with their response said they don’t use or sell single-serving plastic bottles, the story reports. How many say that is not reported.

One business owner who agreed to be named said he backs a proposed ban.

The story goes on to quote three business owners, all of whom oppose a ban.

Overall, what the news story reports is more nuanced than the bold headline: "Speaking against the ban."

This story was published Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, and updated March 20. 

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