Quincy Joins Over 120 Communities in Massachusetts to Ban Plastic Bags
Red Door Real Estate of Quincy Massachusetts reported the passing of new legislation banning the use of single-use plastic bags effective March 1, 2020. The legislation was passed unanimously on December 2, 2019.
In addition to the ban, residents spoke in favor of a 5 to 10 cent charge for paper bags, noting they require more energy to produce than the single-use plastic, which releases more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
“What I said to those folks and what I will say publicly now is, ‘baby steps.’ Let’s get rid of the plastic bags first and then come make an argument about paper bags and we’ll see what happens,” Palmucci said.
The ordinance bans all retail-checkout bags made from plastic, including bags made from petroleum or natural gas and those made from biological sources such as corn or other plants. Degradable and biodegradable plastic bags are among those that are prohibited.
Violators of the ban would first receive a written warning, which would include a 14-day period to correct the violation. A $50 fine would be charged for the second violation, followed by a $100 fine for subsequent violations. The ordinance will be enforceable by police officers, agents of the Quincy Health Department and members of the Board of License Commissioners.
Reusable bags, defined as machine-washable bags made from durable materials like cotton, polyester or polypropylene with a minimum lifetime of 125 uses and capable of carrying at least 22 pounds, are exempt from the ban. Recyclable paper bags are also deemed usable, provided they are 100 percent recyclable and made from at least 40 percent post-consumer recycled content. Such paper bags need to be labelled as “recyclable” and “made from 40 percent post-consumer recycled content.” Newspaper bags, laundry and dry-cleaning bags are also exempt.
More than 120 communities across Massachusetts have enacted bans on single-use plastic bags in recent years, including Boston, Milton and Hingham. Lawmakers are also considering a single-use plastic bags statewide ban.
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