State senators debate over plastic bag ban

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – State senators are still debating a bill that would ban single-use plastic bags across the state, but their proposal might not take effect as soon as they are hoped.

The bill aims to cut down on the environmental impacts that are caused by single-use plastic. Things like grocery bags and food take out containers are often discarded in parking lots, playgrounds, and even into the ocean.

More than 120 Massachusetts communities have already banned single-use plastic bags, and this bill aims to mandate that policy statewide.

Part of the proposal requires that stores in Massachusetts only offer recyclable paper bags, but it will cost you 10 cents per bag when you checkout. Retail stores would be required to give 5 cents for each paper bag sold to the state, which would, in turn, be directed to local communities.

Elected officials on Beacon Hill seem to be split on this issue, some say it’s necessary for the state to regulate the use of plastic bags while others believe it should be up to the individual community.

“I’ve always said that it should be something that comes from the people locally so I’m most likely going to vote against it today, but if it comes up as something that’s of concern to the citizens of my town, obviously that’s a different story,” Senator Humason said.

The House has filed a separate bill that is going through the committee process, and it seems to be garnering more support than the one before the Senate.

Senators are still in session after making several big votes today. Once they reach a decision on the plastic bag ban we will bring you that information.

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