SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield City Council approved a ban on single-use plastic bags in a meeting Monday night.
The ban would take effect June 1st of 2020 for stores that are larger than 10,000 square feet, and six months after that for stores that are smaller according to City Councilor Jesse Lederman, who’s the sponsor of the ordinance.
One man from Springfield said he supports the ban.
“We have enough plastic already being dumped into the environment, so if we can eliminate the bags and do paper or something else, I think that would be much better,” explained Gilberto Amador.
More than 90 communities in Massachusetts already prohibit single-use plastic bags, and the state Legislature is considering a statewide ban.
In Springfield, stores would have to provide either “a recyclable paper bag, a compostable and marine-degradable plastic bag, or a reusable checkout bag.” Lederman told 22News stores could offer these bags for free, unlike other cities that require stores to charge customers for bags.
“We could save the planet,” said Enid Lugo of Holyoke. “It takes a long time for bags to disappear. People throw them in the rivers and stuff, so I think it’s awesome.”
The Springfield ordinance allows plastic bags for dry cleaning, newspapers, pharmacy items, or to wrap produce, meat and fish before checkout.
The ordinance still needs Mayor Domenic Sarno’s signature before it becomes law.