Edgartown proposes nip ban: ‘It’s the right thing to do’

Edgartown voters will take up the proposed ban at the annual town meeting in the spring. — MV Times

A week after the Oak Bluffs select board agreed to move forward with putting a proposed nip bottle ban in front of town voters at its upcoming annual town meeting, Edgartown officials decided to follow suit. 

The Edgartown select board voted unanimously Tuesday to add an article to the annual town meeting warrant for the spring, which, like Oak Bluffs, would potentially restrict the sale of liquor bottles under 100mL from being sold in town if voted for by Edgartown residents. 

“In light of Oak Bluffs having a nip bottle ban that they’re going to be proposing for their town meeting,” Edgartown town administrator James Hagerty said, “I think it would put us in a disadvantageous position if they had a bottle ban and we didn’t.”

Not only would Edgartown likely see an increase in bottle litter if the town didn’t support the ban, Hagerty said, but environmentally, “it’s the right thing to do at this point.” He noted that he hasn’t heard any public comment suggesting opposition to banning the mini bottles; “I think it’s been the exact opposite,” he said. 

“I think it’s a great suggestion,” select board member Arthur Smadback said, and motioned to allow Hagerty to draft the necessary warrant article. “We’ll let the town meeting decide,” he said.



  1. I own Anthony’s Liquor Mart in Gardner, Massachusetts. Twice a year I sponsor a “nip hunt” and I pay five cents for every nip collected to Keep Gardner Beautiful. This has become not just a nip hunt, its now a twice a year City Cleanup. I wish my collogues around the state would copy this idea.

    • I think that’s an awesome idea, but how about adding if you want to buy 6 nips, you have to bring 6 empty ones back? Although that probably wouldn’t work off island. People will just go to other liquor stores…

  2. On a per ounce basis nips are the most expensive way to buy liquor. So what is the motivation? I’ve stated it a hundred times, there is basically one reason to buy nips and that is to make it easier to drink and drive. Hence the number of nips along roadsides. The litter is bad enough but enabling a quick shot while driving and then easily getting rid of the evidence is untenable.

  3. Nip bottles are a scourge. As someone who regularly picks up trash around our neighborhood, other beverage bottles and cans aren’t far behind. It’s too bad people just cant be responsible.

  4. As a daily walker I pick up pocketfuls every time. Banning the is the right thing to do for so many obvious reasons.

  5. I am on the board of a development in Edgartown and the “nips” are a real problem. Our main road is a “cut through” road and every spring through fall the empty bottle litter the roadside. There is no doubt that people are diving and nips and throwing the empty bottles out of the window. I would welcome a restriction of their sale.

    • Only spring through fall? I feel like there must be plenty of yearrounders throwing nip bottles out even in winter.

  6. 100% in favor of banning the sale of nips during all 12 months as the bottles are definitely a problem all year. We live near an unofficial bus stop which is constantly littered with them. It looks as though people go to the liquor store, consume while waiting for the bus, and dispose of the nip bottles before boarding. It appears that the problem is not only driven by the open container while driving law. Banning the sale of nips in Edgartown would be an important step in eradicating this trash from our roadways.

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