Plastic Free MV pitches Tisbury

Quinlan Slavin, Runar Finn Robinson and Odin Robinson pitch a warrant article to Tisbury selectmen that would nix plastic water and soda bottles from town of 34 ounce capacity or less. —Rich Saltzberg

A young trio of Plastic Free MV advocates came before Tisbury selectmen Tuesday night to propose a warrant article for the same type of plastic water and soda bottle ban Aquinnah, Chilmark, and West Tisbury have approved.

“We have a bylaw that [would] ban plastic water and soda bottles of 34 ounces and under,” Plastic Free MV Quinlan Slavin said.

Quinlan was joined by Runar Finn Robinson and Odin Robinson. The three went on to tell the board plastic was becoming an unbearable marine pollutant.

“Have you guys put together any resources for businesses as to what they could purchase as an alternative to plastic water bottles?” Sarah York, president of the Vineyard Haven business Association, asked.

The three pointed to glass, and said it could be cost-effective.

“So, and I don’t want to sound mean — I’m impressed with what they’re doing, I’d love you to try to get a citizens petition to put that on the warrant which would introduce it to the public,” selectman Jim Rogers said.

Slavin pointed out that with a citizens’ petition, the town can’t later amend the language.

Runar said Plastic Free MV has already done a lot to inform the public.

York invited Plastic Free MV to a Vineyard Haven Business Association meeting ahead of the next town meeting.

Selectman Jeff Kristal, who joked he didn’t like kids other than his own, nevertheless said he supported the endeavor, and said he had no problem sponsoring the article closer to town meeting.

Chairman Melinda Loberg asked to see a draft warrant article used in one of the up-Island towns, and Quinlan said they already had a draft ready for the board to look at.

Loberg said the board would review the draft article in preparation for a vote at the next scheduled meeting.

In other business, the board mulled changing the traffic direction of Union Street, which had been switched to one way up from the harbor a few years earlier.

Police Chief Mark Saloio advocated for making the street two-way, describing such a configuration as a “win-win.”

Alternatively, York said the business community was opposed to the idea.

“People were freaking out,” she said when told it was being considered.

The selectmen made no decision on the matter, but decided to revisit the idea at a future meeting.


  1. What a charming anti-kids quote from Kristol. I certainly hope it came across differently in person than it does on the page.

  2. Keep Union St. like it is. In the current configuration a significant amount of off-loading traffic can bypass downtown by using Union. Two lanes will result in a lot of bottleneck at Main St.

  3. Regarding the plastic bottle ban, has anyone considered that this is an ineffective way to rid the Island of single serve plastic bottles. How does this bylaw prohibit online retailers like Amazon, BJ’s, Walmart or Target from sending a cases of water or gatorade to a homeowners or seasonal renter here on the Island? The bylaw seems to unfairly restrict the rights of brick and mortar small main street businesses to compete on an even playing field. Would a state bottle deposit like the ones in Hawaii, New York, Connecticut, California, Maine and Oregon make more sense? Food for thought.

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