Mattapoisett voters refuse “nip” ban

May 9, 2023

MATTAPOISETT— Mattapoisett voters had a chance to voice their opinion on 31 items during Town Meeting on Monday, May 8.

Mattapoisett voters did not support a citizen’s petition to ban “nips.”

Mattapoisett voter Don Cuddy created the petition to amend the town’s general bylaws to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages in “containers less than or equal to 100 milliliters.” 

Cuddy said that he was tired of seeing the bottles along the side of the road when he runs.

“There's literally thousands of them on every street, in the parks, on the [Mattapoisett] Land Trust’s properties, on the beaches,” he said. “We can do something about this tonight.”

Cuddy referenced other towns that implemented “nip” bans to cut down on litter including 

Chatham, Mashpee and Wareham.

He added that he did not believe the deposit given for returning empty bottles has been effective for keeping them off the roads.

“This is a litter problem for me, but the litter is a symptom of the social problem, which is people are driving around drinking these things and throwing them out the window because they don't want them to be found in their vehicle,” said Cuddy. 

Village Package Store owner Ed Lima responded to the petition with concern for small businesses like his own. 

“I don't think there's a person in this room that would like to have 20% of their income taken away because somebody else littered,” he said. 

Lima said that local businesses do not have an effect on littering, instead it is due to “the behavior of  the litterer.”

Mattapoisett voter Steve Lombard said he believes that a majority of the litter comes from people from surrounding towns who simply “don’t care.”

“The ban of menthol cigarettes in this state has not stopped people from  going out of state to get menthol cigarettes to smoke,” he said. 

Mattapoisett voter Richard Bates spoke in support of the petition and raised concerns about the return deposit being used as a tactic to prevent litter. 

“I think the answer to this is to remove the source of the litter and then you won't have to pick it up,” he said. 

The citizen’s petition was denied by voters with a vote of 49 to 88.