Board of Health Announces Single-Use Plastic Bag Ban

Special to the Transcript

Bill Schmidt, Chair, of the Winthrop Board of Health, would like to inform members of the public and town businesses that its Regulation for Reduction in Single-Use Plastic Checkout Bags will be effective as of November 1, 2020. This regulation, initially scheduled to take effect as of May 1, 2020, was delayed for six months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As of November 1st, single-use plastic ‘checkout bags’ shall not be distributed, used or sold for checkout or other purposes at any retail establishment within the Town of Winthrop,” said Schmidt.  “Retail establishments are strongly encouraged to make reusable checkout bags available for sale to customers at a reasonable price.”

A retail establishment that provides any type of checkout bag, excluding prohibited single-use plastic checkout bags, shall sell them for no less than five cents ($0.05) per bag.  All moneys collected pursuant to this regulation shall be retained by the retail establishment.  Thin-film single-use plastic bags used to contain dry cleaning, newspapers, baked goods, bulk goods, meats, seafood, produce, wet items and other similar merchandise is still permissible.

Customers are encouraged to utilize reusable or biodegradable bags when shopping at retail establishments within the Town of Winthrop.  “The Board of Health established this regulation to protect the Town’s environment, advance solid waste reduction, and reduce litter,” said Schmidt. The Board of Health may grant a waiver to a retail establishment for a period of up to six (6) months of the effective date of this regulation if it would cause an undue hardship.  The retail establishment would have to apply for a waiver with information supporting the request. The Board of Health could approve the exemption request, in whole or part, with or without conditions

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