UPDATED: Originally posted on December 14. Updated on December 31 with additional photos.
FRAMINGHAM – On January 1, 2018, the City of Framingham will ban stores from handing out flimsy, single-use plastic bags to customers.
Framingham Town Meeting voted in May 2016 passed a Plastic Bag Reduction Bylaw.
Under the bylaw, thin-film single-use plastic bags with handles are prohibited from being distributed at checkout.
Thin-film plastic bags used to contain dry cleaning, newspapers, produce, meat, bulk foods, wet items, and other similar merchandise, typically without handles, are still permissible in 2018.
All retail establishments that provide a checkout bag to customers, such as grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, liquor stores, household good stores, and other retailers must comply with this bylaw. The bylaw does not affect restaurants.
Framingham is one of 60 communities in Massachusetts that passed laws to regulate plastic bags.
The new bylaw sought to reduce the number of plastic bags that are distributed, and to promote the use of reusable checkout bags.
This will help protect the marine environment, advance solid waste reduction, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and protect waterways, said Michael Croci of Framingham.
The Framingham BYOBag team , a group of volunteer residents, have been romoting the use of reusable bags as a way to ease the transition of the upcoming plastic bag reduction bylaw.
“We all do better economically and environmentally by using reusable bags as often as possible when shopping at all stores. Our team is working working with the Town of Framingham, The Metrowest Chamber of Commerce, retail stores, and residents to achieve our mission to reduce the amount of waste in our community,” said Croci.
Earlier this Spring, a logo design contest was held for teenagers in Framingham.
More than 60 submissions were received. The winner was a sixth grade scholar at the Christa McAuliffe Charter School in Framingham.