Discarded plastic bags and straws are polluting our oceans and strangling marine life.

On Wednesday night, Stonington hopes to take a first step towards being eco-friendly by banning them.

We have all used plastic straws at one time or another.

When these and plastic bags get blown into the water, they could harm birds and marine life beyond our lifetime.

Stonington has 11.4 square miles of water.

Property owners like Brian Butterfield regularly find fallen balloons from celebrations and plastic bags in the water.

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“I try to pick up what you can its certain areas collect more because of the tide,” said Butterfield.

Stonington First Selectman Rob Simmons plans held a meeting to create a committee to study the adoption of a new ordinance banning plastic bags and straws.

"If they have their food in a plastic container like this and they throw it overboard or it falls overboard, or they leave it behind, this container is going to be here for 100, 200 years.

Simmons says they have received some pushback from local grocery stores afraid of increased costs, but most of the feedback has been positive.

This will help keep plastic bags and straws away from marine life.

“It expands and can be a jellyfish, you know potential food. I could see why they eat it,” said Butterfield.

At least three restaurants in town are eco-conscious like the Engine Room.

They’ve already replaced plastic straws with paper ones and take out containers are also paper.

“It’s a responsibility we take seriously how much straws we actually go through,” said Aaron Laipply, General Manager at the Engine Room.

The committee will have 90 days to talk to retailers and restaurants and get their input before signing off on the new law, similar to what Westerly, Rhode Island did.

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