Massachusetts considering state-wide ban on single-use plastic bags

Boston Statehouse

A ban on plastic bags in Massachusetts is being considered by a legislative panel.

That panel is considering a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. If passed, stores would be barred from providing customers with the single-use bags after August 1.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea,” said Jeffrey O’Toole-Roselli of Springfield. “Big Ys, Stop and Shops, Wal-Mart, they all use plastic bags.”

A public hearing is set for Tuesday, where the proposal will be discussed by the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee at the State House.

Under the proposal, stores would be allowed to charge customers 10 cents for recycled paper bags, or 10 cents or more for reusable grocery bags. One woman from Chicopee told 22News, she’s already used to paying for bags at the grocery store she shops at. 

“I go to Aldi’s food store, and they charge us 11 cents,” said Tammie Goolbsy. “It doesn’t really bother me because it’s a discount store and prices are cheaper.”

A number of communities in Massachusetts including South Hadley, Greenfield, Amherst, and Northampton have already banned plastic shopping bags.

Critics say plastic bags can’t be recycled, and add to the state’s solid waste and pollution problems. 

“It’s an eyesore,” said Waymond Dotson of Chicopee. “It’s more work for the state and city workers. It’s just not good.”

According to the Sierra Club of Massachusetts, only about 5 percent of plastic bags are recycled properly in the state. 

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