Somerville Stores Scramble to Phase Out Plastic Bags Ahead of Ban | NECN


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Somerville Stores Scramble to Phase Out Plastic Bags Ahead of Ban



    (Published Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016)

    Somerville is the latest city in Massachusetts to institute a plastic bag ban, and retailers are scrambling to phase them out before the September deadline.

    Supermarkets and other retailers over 10,000 square feet have to be compliant with the ordinance by Sept. 1. Smaller stores have until Dec. 1.

    "It was out of concern for the litter and marine pollution caused directly by plastic bags, as well as the production of plastic bags involves fossil fuel and energy," Oliver Sellers-Garcia, the director of sustainability in Somerville, said.

    The ordinance was passed in November and prohibits retailers from providing customers with the single-use plastic bags at checkout.

    Christmas Tree Shops in Somverville is being proactive and had paper bags rolled out before the deadline. They also put signs on their door that read, "Are you re-usable bag ready?"

    Magpie, a smaller store in Davis Square, has started to slowly phase out the bags, but it comes with a price.

    "Paper is a lot more expensive," employee Kendall Todd said.

    The ban does not apply to plastic bags used for newspapers, dry cleaning and produce at the grocery store.

    City officials say they will hand out violations to stores that do not comply, which could result in fines.

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