The North Adams City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to reject a plan to prohibit city stores from using plastic bags, at the recommendation of the General Governance Committee.

The Berkshire Eagle reports the committee felt the transition could be made easier by further educating residents over time about plastic, recycling and reuse, and the need to reduce the waste stream.

Several communities across the Berkshires, including the neighboring towns of Williamstown and Adams, already have voted to prohibit the use of plastic bags, which cannot be recycled, clutterl local streets and waterways, and leach chemicals into soil and groundwater.

Committee members surveyed store owners and some residents, and found that both were evenly split on a bag ban.