Brookline plastic bag, Styrofoam ban begins

BROOKLINE, Mass. ( -- Brookline is bagging the plastic: A ban on both disposable plastic bags and Styrofoam containers started on Sunday.

Instead of the typical plastic bags handed out at CVS, customers left the store at Harvard Avenue and Beacon Street with paper alternatives.

Most businesses, however, are making the change gradually. Brookline Director of Public Health and Human Services Alan Balsam told FOX 25 that he's letting retailers use up their current supplies of plastic bags.

In total, the bag ban affects about 70 businesses, and roughly 350 restaurants that will have to phase out Styrofoam. One of those restaurants is Pizzeria Dante in Coolidge Corner, where owner David Dragan said the change won't be easy.

"I'm going to have to make a choice and adjust some prices to some extent," he said. "We use more Styrofoam than anything. And replacing the Styrofoam's going to be the most expensive."

For many in Brookline, though, banishing plastic and Styrofoam is a welcome change.

"Once in a while if I stop spontaneously at a store I'll use a plastic bag, but by and large I try not to," said Stuart Steck.

The ban on plastic bags doesn't go for every business in Brookline, only those that are 2,500 square feet or bigger. Balsam said he's waiting to enforce the ban on Styrofoam until January, and after that, businesses can request a six-month waiver before they have to comply.

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