Massachusetts temporary COVID-19 ban on reusable bags impacts local supermarkets

Franklin County

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Governor Baker has temporarily banned the use of reusable bags at grocery stores amid COVID-19 sanitary concerns.

The order lifts any local municipality ban on plastic bags and prohibits stores from charging for paper or plastic bags.

“I think it’s a good idea because that’s just going to spread more germs,” Greenfield resident, Kim Williams told 22News.

The worry was that grocery workers, who are classified as essential workers, would be touching bags that may have the virus on them. Some employees are even wearing gloves while working in the store for further protection.

This follows after having to get rid of their plastic bags due to the Greenfield plastic bag ban. Foster’s Supermarket then had to go into the storage room to find leftover corn bags to give people for free.

“It’s probably a good idea. I mean that was one of the concerns we had when it [COVID-19] started was the sanitary aspect of it,” said Foster’s Supermarket President, Matthew Deane. “Most people are very good, but I mean we do get some people bringing in bags that you know really shouldn’t be coming into a food store.”

Deane also told 22News the store is ordering more plastic bags because there’s a shortage of paper bags and the overall shortage of paper products in the United States.

Deane says the financial impact of giving the bags away for free will hurt for the time being, especially on locally owned stores, but that Foster’s will get through it.

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