Plastic bag ordinance takes effect September 14th

Milton Town News
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Plastic bag ordinance takes effect September 14th

Watch out for these new changes about plastic bags taking effect September 14th!

Milton’s Plastic Bag Ban takes effect on September 14, 2019. Our town’s ordinance was designed to limit the use of single-use plastic checkout bags to protect our streets and public spaces from litter and reduce our environmental impact. We encourage shoppers to remember to bring reusable bags along with them when shopping in Milton.

When was the ordinance passed?

The plastic bag ban was passed at Town Meeting on October 23rd, 2018. It takes effect on September 14th because the bylaw required approval from the Massachusetts Attorney General.

What kind of bags are banned?

The Town’s bylaw prohibits the distribution of thin-film, single use plastic check-out bags of a thickness under 2.5 mils. One mil is one thousandth of an inch. Note that the bylaw specifically regulates bags distributed at check-out, or the point of sale.

What kinds of businesses are affected?

Retail establishments in Milton are subject to the bylaw. Retail establishments include, but are not limited to: retail stores, restaurants, pharmacies, convenience and grocery stores, liquor stores, and seasonal and temporary businesses.

Are there exemptions to this bylaw?

Yes. The bylaw does not apply to thin-film plastic bags without handles that are used to contain dry cleaning clothing items, newspapers, produce, meat, fish, bulk foods, wet items, or pet waste.

What does the bylaw mean for patrons of affected businesses?

Each business can choose whether to offer check-out bags and what material the bags may be made of. The Town does not require vendors to charge a fee for bags, nor does the Town prohibit vendors from charging a bag fee.

Under this ordinance, reusable check-out bags are still permissible. A reusable bag is defined as a bag with handles that is specifically designed for multiple reuse and that is either made of natural fibers or made of durable, non-toxic plastic (not polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride) that is at least 2.5 mils thick.

Questions may be directed to Code Enforcement Officer Birch Aymer at 617-898-4839 or baymer@townofmilton.org .

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