Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced recently the City of Boston’s executive order to exempt all establishments from the plastic bag ban ordinance will stay in place until September 30. This transition period will allow stores to use up any single-use plastic bags that they have purchased during the emergency. The five-cent per bag fee will also not be in effect.
“In March, we suspended the City’s ban on plastic bags and the 5-cent fee for paper bags in order to give both stores and customers more flexibility during this difficult time,” said Mayor Walsh. “While we’re extending that suspension to best serve businesses and residents, I want to be clear that the Boston Public Health Commission and the state Department of Public Health have said that reusable bags are safe and people should feel free to use them.”
On October 1, all provisions of the plastic bag ban ordinance will come back into effect. This includes the elimination of most single-use plastic bags and the requirement for the five-cent fee. The ordinance still allows the ISD Commissioner to grant exemptions on a case-by-case basis. Residents in Boston are now able to use reusable bags if they would like to.
More information about the City’s plastic bag ban is available on boston.gov. The City’s previous guidance on allowing plastic bags during the COVID-19 health emergency is available on boston.gov.