NOV 19, 2018 6:18 PM PST

Boston's plastic bag ban

Boston’s plastic bag ban will officially begin on December 14, after City Council unanimously approved the legislation and Mayor Martin J. Walsh signed the ordinance last year. Watch the video to see how the issue has developed since then.

For the first few months of 2019, the new law will only affect establishments that are more than 20,000 square feet; beginning in April, 2019, those establishments less than 10,000 square feet will also be subject to the law. And a few months following, beginning summer of 2019, all establishments across the city will be required to be plastic-bag free.

“We know that single-use plastic bags have an impact on the environment. They often end up in City streets and gutters, abandoned lots, and even in trees,” city officials write. “Through this ordinance, the City aims to reduce the use of disposable checkout bags by retail stores in Boston.” The city also aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and solid waste, and protect marine wildlife, reports the Boston Globe.

Photo: Observer

So what does this mean for shoppers? If you’re a shopper, you will be responsible for either bringing your own bags or paying for a compostable bag or paper bag. “Charges for checkout bags will appear separately on the receipt. To avoid being charged, customers can bring their own bags when shopping,” explained the ordinance. That’ll be the case at grocery stores, restaurants (no more take-out bags for you), shopping bags, etc. Only smaller bags used for produce, newspapers, dog waste, and dry-cleaning (or similar uses) are exempt from the ordinance. Retailers are also able to opt out of providing bags at all, forcing customers to provide their own supply.

In very specific cases, businesses are able to apply for temporary exemptions to the ordinance, if they feel they are unable to make the change.

With this move, Boston will be joining 81 other cities and towns in Massachusetts to ban plastic bags.

Sources: Boston Globe, Boston Herald

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
AUG 17, 2020
Earth & The Environment
When do cold-climate forests turn from carbon sinks to carbon sources?
AUG 17, 2020
When do cold-climate forests turn from carbon sinks to carbon sources?
A study led by University of Michigan researchers and published recently in PNAS reports that cold-climate forests ...
AUG 21, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Earth's Outer Core, in the Middle of a Laboratory
AUG 21, 2020
Earth's Outer Core, in the Middle of a Laboratory
Deep underneath our feet lies Earth's outer core, a fluid layer over two thousand kilometers (1,500 mi) in thickness ...
SEP 01, 2020
Earth & The Environment
Coral reefs diagnosed with osteoporosis
SEP 01, 2020
Coral reefs diagnosed with osteoporosis
New research published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters contemplates the impact that ocean acidification ...
SEP 03, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Hemp Extract Protects Bees from Poisonous Pesticides
SEP 03, 2020
Hemp Extract Protects Bees from Poisonous Pesticides
Researchers from Curie-Skłodowska University in Poland have found that an extract from hemp may help bees to survive poi ...
SEP 24, 2020
Plants & Animals
High Arctic Polar Bears are Temporarily Benefitting from Climate Change
SEP 24, 2020
High Arctic Polar Bears are Temporarily Benefitting from Climate Change
For the past few decades, polar bears have been harbingers of climate change. However, not every polar bear subpopu ...
OCT 17, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Improving carbon capture technologies using membranes
OCT 17, 2020
Improving carbon capture technologies using membranes
Researchers from the International Institute for Carbo-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER), Kyushu University and NanoMembr ...
Loading Comments...