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Need to Know

Boston Enacts Plastic Bag Ban

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Right now, the ban applies to stores larger than 20,000 square feet. In April, stores larger than 10,000 square feet will have to comply.

As of December 14, a ban on plastic bags at large and midsized grocery stores in Boston has gone into effect. The ban also applies at restaurants, where takeout orders will be packaged in non-plastic or renewable bags moving forward.

Late last year, the City Council passed an ordinance to ban plastic bags at grocery stores. Customers are now expected to bring their own reusable bags or stores will bag goods in paper.

According to Boston Magazine, the ban currently applies to stores larger than 20,000 square feet. In April, stores larger than 10,000 square feet will have to comply, and then everyone else will be required to follow suit by July. Exempted are newspaper bags, laundry and dry-cleaner bags, plastic wrapped around meats and trash bags.

Boston Magazine has more details:

In retrospect, it’s amazing that plastic bags lasted this long. A scourge of the earth, and an ongoing environmental disaster, they are not only wasteful single-use products, they clog drains, threaten ocean life, float like tumbleweeds through neighborhoods, get stuck in trees, gum up the works in recycling facilities, and just generally make themselves a nuisance. And starting now in Boston, they’re over.

A long-awaited ban on plastic bags kicks in today, meaning customers at large and mid-size grocery stores will no longer be given them at checkout. Instead, per a new city ordinance passed by the City Council and signed by Mayor Marty Walsh late last year, you’ll have to bring your own reusable bags to the store, or else have your goods bagged in paper or some other recyclable or reusable container, and pay a mandatory minimum fee of five cents per bag. The ban also applies at restaurants, where take-out food will have to be packed into non-plastic or reusable bags.

Read the full article here.

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