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July 6, 2020
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Country School 7th Graders Cooper Burke of Westbrook, Michaela Troy of Madison, and STEAM Coordinator Louise Jackson speak to the Madison Board of Selectmen about the need to ban single-use plastic bags.

Country School 7th Graders Cooper Burke of Westbrook, Michaela Troy of Madison, and STEAM Coordinator Louise Jackson speak to the Madison Board of Selectmen about the need to ban single-use plastic bags. )

Country School Plays Role in Unanimous Hybrid Plastic Bag Ban

Published Sep. 13, 2019

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Due to the hard work of a group of environmentally-conscious Country School students and BYO Madison, local businesses will no longer allow single-use plastic bags. On September 9, the five-member Board of Selectmen unanimously passed a Hybrid Plastic Bag Ban that will not only ban plastic bags but also place a $0.10 per bag fee on paper bags. This vote distinguishes Madison as an environmental vanguard in Connecticut because the state has no ban on plastic at all, just a fee on paper and plastic bags. Two years ago, after watching a disturbing segment on 60 Minutes about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Country School students set in motion the "Turn the Tide on Plastics" campaign focused on the elimination, repurposing, and recycling of plastics. Under the guidance of STEAM Coordinators Louise Jackson and Shari Lariviere, Country School’s efforts were thoughtful and numerous: partnering with The Madison Chamber of Commerce, designing cotton totes to replace single-use plastic bags, sponsoring the documentary Bag It, and working with family-owned and operated Roberts Food Center. As a result of these efforts, BYO Madison had gained enough momentum to bring the issue to the Board of Selectmen on September 6 where 7th Graders Cooper Burke and Michaela Troy presented their case, described by President of BYO Madison Fran Brady as “poised, confident and impressive.” Said Troy, “Robert’s Food Center has been really supportive of our plan to get rid of plastic bags in Madison. They put up our signs asking people to remember their reusable bags and displayed our art piece with the big wave that asks the town to Turn the Tide on plastic. They have eliminated all plastic bags in their store!” Upon leaving the presentation to the Board of Selectmen, Burke said, “This time more people were listening. Do you think they heard us?” If all goes according to plan, yes, as the ban and paper bag fee should take effect in Madison some time in the next three months. Founded in 1955, The Country School serves over 200 students in PreSchool-Grade 8 on its 23-acre campus in Madison. The Country School is committed to active, hands-on learning and a vigorous curriculum that engages the whole child. The Country School’s Elmore Leadership, STEAM, Public Speaking Signature Programs are brought to life through Turn the Tide on Plastic initiative. See our community in action during our Fall Open House on October 27 from 1-3:30 p.m. or schedule a tour. Learn more at

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