She said any plan that passes would include a phase-in period for merchant compliance.
Looker said she has been working with students from Newburyport High School, the River Valley Charter School and the Gulf of Maine Institute in developing the initiative.
Ann Ormond, president of the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the chamber is familiar with the proposal and is developing a position.
“Our retail committee is looking at it, and may make a recommendation in later March or April,” Ormond said. “We don’t want this to be a hardship for any stores.”
“Many are now using reusable or paper bags,” she added.
Ormond said the Chamber might consider supporting a plan that would give out reusable bags that would carry printed slogans such as “Shop Locally.”
Looker and other supporters say that plastic bags have been banned in Massachusetts communities including Brookline, Great Barrington and Manchester-by-the-Sea.