Here’s What You Need to Know About Boston’s Plastic Bag Ban

The ban goes into effect Friday morning for big-name retailers

Make sure you take your reusable bag the next time you go grocery shopping.

Beginning Friday, big-name grocery stores in Boston will no longer have plastic bags readily available for customers due to the city’s new ordinance.

The plastic bag ban was unanimously approved by the Boston City Council last December and signed by Mayor Marty Walsh.

It requires businesses to charge 5 cents for reusable bags, paper bags with handles and compostable plastic bags in an effort to cut down on waste. Customers can still have paper bags without handles for free.

"I think we’re behind the times in many regards in terms of implementing the bag ordinance but we did it right and I’m hopeful that that will born out," Boston City Councilor, Matt O'Malley, said.

The city said its goal is to reduce pollution and litter as well as decrease greenhouse gasses.

Retailers can retain the plastic bag fee, but Stop & Shop has decided to donate those funds to the Emerald Necklace Conservancy.

Stores that are 20,000 square feet or larger are required to adhere to the ordinance by Friday. Businesses that are at least 10,000 square feet have until April 1, 2019 to comply while smaller establishments have until July 1, 2019.

Retailers who defy the ordinance are subject to a warning upon their first violation, a $50 fine for their second violation and a $100 fine for a third.

Contact Us