• Boston begins enforcement of ban on plastic bags Friday


    BOSTON - On December 14, 2018, the City's plastic bag ordinance goes into effect. Learn more about what that means for you below.

    The plastic bag ban in the City of Boston takes effect Friday as city inspectors will begin checking to make sure retailers are complying. 

    Walsh signs city-wide ordinance banning plastic bags in Boston

    A ban on plastic retail bags was signed a year ago by Mayor Marty Walsh after it was unanimously approved by the City Council

    Mayor Walsh says he supports the ban because of its environmental benefits, but that he's still concerned about the impact this will have on the poor.

    The provisions require a five-cent charge for compostable, recyclable or reusable bags that must be used instead of plastic. Companies are allowed to apply for a temporary exemption if it creates undue hardship or they need to use an existing supply of plastic bags. 

    Stop & Shop locations in Boston will donate the mandatory five-cent fee per paper bag to the Emerald Necklace Conservancy. 

    "Our goal is to reduce litter and pollution. We want to protect the ocean our waterways. We aim to also reduce greenhouse gasses and reduce solid waste in the waste stream," the city's website states. 

    The plastic bag ordinance only applies to “checkout bags” — carryout bags with handles. The ordinance does not include:

    • newspaper bags
    • bags used to wrap produce, frozen food, meat, or fish
    • laundry and dry-cleaner bags, and
    • trash can liners

    Inspections on Friday will only be for stores 20,000 square feet and larger. 

    Smaller stores have until April and July to comply, depending on size. 

    You can find more guidance from the City of Boston

    Boston City Council unanimously approves plastic bag ban

    Next Up: