1.1 min readBy Published On: December 13th, 2018Categories: News15 Comments

Last year, Mayor Marty Walsh officially signed the plastic bag ban ordinance banning single-use plastic shopping bags in the City of Boston.

So what does this mean?  Well, it means, you’ll either need to be bring reusable bags when you go to the supermarket or you’ll be charged a nickel (minimum fee) for one.

Also, plastic bags less than 3 millimeters thick will be banned. 

Just the Facts

The Plastic Bag Ban ordinance includes the following:

• A five cent minimum fee will be charged for bags provided at checkout; those bags must meet requirements of being reusable, recyclable or compostable.

• If retailers violate the ordinance more than once in a year, they can incur penalties of $50 for the first offense and $100 for each additional offense.

• If retailers feel like the new ordinance is a burden on them they can, under specific circumstances, receive a temporary exemption.

• If passed, the law would take effect one year later.

The ordinance describes the ban purpose “to reduce the use of disposable checkout bags by Retail Establishments in the City of Boston, curb litter on the streets, protect marine environment, waterways, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and solid waste, and to promote the use of Reusable Bags by Retail Establishments located in the City.”

The ordinance was sponsored by Councilors Matt O’Malley and Michelle Wu.

15 Comments

  1. (Other) Steve November 29, 2017 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    What a bunch of BS. If they take away styrofoam dunkins cups too we might as well move to Cambridge.

    • YP November 30, 2017 at 11:26 am - Reply

      Why is it BS? Seriously. What’s so bad about protecting nature and the environment? Why live like you’re the last person who’ll live on the planet?

      • (Other) Steve November 30, 2017 at 3:33 pm - Reply

        I don’t own a car, barely travel by plane, always turn the lights off and live in a modest sized, well insulated condo. How about you?

        I want the ability to carry groceries home without bringing my own bags to work with me in the morning. There is a million much more meaningful ways to better the environment. Getting rid of grocery bags is a large inconvenience for very little benefit.

        • YP December 1, 2017 at 2:38 pm - Reply

          All those things are not being eco-friendly. Besides not owning a car, that’s how you should be living.

          Getting rid of plastic bags is a small inconvenience for a VERY BIG benefit. Have you not taken any science classes when you were in school? I’m appalled at how you said there’s very little benefit. Also, you could fold the reusable bags and put them in your pocket too. There are nice ones these days.

          • (Other) Steve December 1, 2017 at 6:07 pm

            How I buy groceries should be none of your business. It’s like me saying you shouldn’t own a car. Im appaled that you do. There are public transport options and bicycles these days.

            I know the science, that is how I know plastic grocery bags are no big deal. It is about a drop of petroleum per bag. They consist of basically nothing. Landfills could take nearly infinite plastic bags.

          • Briana December 18, 2017 at 10:59 am

            YP you should move to Cambridge

    • Roger Glass December 14, 2018 at 8:46 am - Reply

      You sound about as dumb as a sack of rocks, Steve. Sorry not sorry

      • Not so New to The Hood December 14, 2018 at 11:37 am - Reply

        Agreed. His grocery bill is going up 15-20 cents. Just eat it.

  2. Not So New To The Hood November 30, 2017 at 10:23 am - Reply

    Being from Portland, Maine, a City that instituted the EXACT same policy a few years ago. I can assure you that it’s not really an inconvenience. Everyone switches over to reusable bags and life goes on. It’s like taking an Uber vs. a Cab.

    • Yuppie hater December 30, 2017 at 6:33 pm - Reply

      It’s not like taking an Uber vs. a Cab, You have the choice to choose between those , we weren’t giving a choice to choose paper or plastic. It was shoved down our throats just like forced busing and forced housing. I say it should have been put up for a vote and let the majority decide. This isn’t Cambridge, Somerville or Brookline but we’re sure as hell starting to act like it.

  3. Emily December 18, 2017 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    Finally! This will reduce litter significantly and eventually everyone will just learn to bring a reusable tote when they go shopping. One less thing for stores to buy and one less thing for consumers to throw out.

  4. mplo December 22, 2017 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    Both Somerville (where I reside) and Cambridge were the first two cities here in the Commonwealth to ban plastic bags. It is better for the environment. I’ve got tons of reusable (non-plastic) bags, that I use. The only time I use plastic bags is for disposing of dirty cage-liners and newspapers, as well as old parrot food when I clean Aziza’s cage. (Btw, Aziza is my loving and adorable 7.5 year old pet Congo African Grey Parrot, who I purchased when she was a baby–only 2.5 years old, at a very reputable pet store roughly 45 minutes to an hour south of Boston.).

    What I’ll need to use when the supply of plastic bags I have is all used up remains to be seen, however. I’ll figure something out…no problem, however.

  5. Yuppie hater December 30, 2017 at 2:33 am - Reply

    I think the law sucks, It’s an inconvenience to people who don’t drive and have to carry several bundles a long distance home. And who wants to be carrying bags with you if you have other things to do before shopping. It’s just another way for the city or state to make money of the taxpayer. And another way to appease the yuppies and tree huggers in Boston. Marty Walsh should have stayed a drunk, he made more sense back then. Since he sobered up he turned into another yuppie left leaning liberal. I guess he’ll do or say anything to get elected. Typical yuppie politician. And I totally agree with (Other) Steve, he’s a thousand percent right.

  6. Yuppie hater December 30, 2017 at 2:42 am - Reply

    I think the law sucks, It’s an inconvenience to people who don’t drive and have to carry several bundles a long distance home. And who wants to be carrying bags with you if you have other things to do before shopping. It’s just another way for the city or state to make money of the taxpayer. And another way to appease the yuppies and tree huggers in Boston. Marty Walsh should have stayed a drunk, he made more sense back then. Since he sobered up he turned into another yuppie left leaning liberal. I guess he’ll do or say anything to get elected. Typical yuppie politician. And I totally agree with (Other) Steve, he’s a thousand percent right. Also how is it going to get rid of the bags if you can still purchase them? As Steve said, it’s all bullshit. What’s the point of the law???

  7. Eleanor December 17, 2018 at 8:37 am - Reply

    Related but unrelated. I tried the paper bags they supply at Stop and Shop…the handles broke off while getting out of the car. Pass on the paper ones.

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