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Plastic Recycling November 22, 2019 11:30:33 AM

Senate Approves Statewide Ban on Plastic Bags

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
The bill requires customers to pay a 10-cent fee on every reusable or recyclable bag including paper bags.

Senate Approves Statewide Ban on Plastic Bags

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The Massachusetts State Senate approved a bill that would impose statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at retail stores. The bill was approved late Wednesday night by a 36-4 vote. It now moves to Massachusetts State House of Representatives, which is expected to vote on the bill early next year.

Under the provisions of the bill, retail stores across the state will be prohibited from distributing plastic shopping bags. However, there would be some exceptions. For instance, the ban would not be applicable to those plastic bags use to carry dry cleaning, certain food like produce and meat and prescription medicines.

ALSO READ: Statewide Ban on Plastic Bags to Take Effect in Oregon

The bill requires customers to pay a 10-cent fee on every reusable or recyclable bag including paper bags. Out of this, five cents would go back to the city or municipality to fund municipal recycling efforts. The retailers are allowed to retain the remaining 5 cents of the fee with them, towards meeting the expenses for providing alternative bags to customers. Bill sponsor Sen. Jaime Eldridge says the 10 cent fee for paper bags, split between the retailer and municipality, is the key to altering consumer behaviour. 

It must be noted that over 120 Massachusetts cities and towns have already implemented local laws placing restrictions on usage of plastic bags. The Senate bill, if approved, would pre-empt all the existing local bag bans.

Meantime, some small businesses opposed the bill, saying that it would increase costs for store owners.

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