Fireball, Crown Royal and Absolut, oh my. Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky is fed up with the number of nip bottles littering city streets and sidewalks and is asking the mayor and License Commission to ban the sale of the miniature bottles of liquor.
Several other councillors said that while they believe there is a problem with the tiny bottles of booze littering the city, an outright ban might not be the way to go.
“I’ve received numerous phone calls from my constituents in the Shirley Ave. area complaining about the number of empty nip bottles on the streets, in the Elks parking lot,” said Novoselsky. “I had one business owner actually call me and go, ‘Ira, I had 35 empty nip bottles in front of my business over the weekend.’ The only way I can see to stop nips from being thrown all over the place is to ban them in the city of Revere.”
Novoselsky noted that there are other communities that have banned the sale of nips to protect the cleanliness of the neighborhoods. “If you don’t do this, something has to be done to stop this disgrace,” he said.
Councillor-at-Large George Rotondo agreed that something should be done; noting that he picks up between 10 and 15 nips off the ground every day, but said it might make more sense to put a 10 cent deposit on the bottles.
Ward 1 Councillor Joanne McKenna and Councillor-at-Large Jessica Ann Giannino both pointed to a possible reworking of the Bottle Bill in the state legislature that could include a deposit on the nip bottles. “There’s a lot of solutions; I would just hate to put the little guy out,” said McKenna, one of several councillors who noted that a ban on nips would hurt local businesses that sell alcohol. “I know Chelsea did it a couple of years ago, and all those businesses that they took the nips away from, they folded during COVID.”
Giannino noted that a ban could also be construed as putting restrictions on businesses that already have a liquor license.
“I think there are other avenues we can go other than banning these nips and hurting our businesses in our community,” said Councillor-at-Large Gerry Visconti.
Ward 3 Councillor-Elect Anthony Cogliandro said he couldn’t support the ban. “We really need to get away from one-off bans – that’s not the solution – because we don’t have a nip problem, we have a littering problem,” he said. “If we were banning things that caused a lot of litter, we would have to ban Dunkin’ Donuts from serving coffee because I pick those cups up every day in front of my school.”
Novoselsky thanked his fellow councillors for their input and said there would be further discussion of the issue at a future Ways and Means Subcommittee meeting. “This was done in frustration and also frustration by my folks down off of Shirley Avenue,” he said. “I’m glad I opened up something that we can have a conversation on, and I hope we can find a solution and, hopefully, correct an ill that’s going on.”