Salem’s “Bring Your Own Bag” Ordinance Goes into Effect January 1, 2018
Thin plastic bags no longer be provided by Salem businesses after January 1; reusable bags encouraged.
Salem’s new initiative promoting the use of reusable bags in all forms – paper, heavy plastic, canvas, and net mesh, goes into effect on Monday, January 1st. Thin plastic bags (those less than four millimeters thick) will no longer be offered at Salem businesses, as they create significant problems for the City and for our environment, clogging storm drains, getting caught in trees, and finding their way into our waterways.
Spearheaded by a group of Salem High School students working with Salem Sound Coast watch, the Salem City Council passed the plastic bag ordinance in the Fall of 2016. The ordinance restricts the use of single use plastic checkout bags provided at the point of sale by retail and food establishments in Salem. Salem will join 60 other cities and towns in Massachusetts in restricting the use of these bags. Boston recently announced approval of a similar ordinance to go into effect in 2019.The new bag ordinance is designed to encourage the use of reusable bags. Paper bags, which are reusable and compostable, will continue to be available at Salem retail outlets.“People have gotten used to taking a plastic bag even if they don’t really need it,” states Susan Yochelson, a Salem Recycles committee member and outreach coordinator for Salem Sound Coast watch.
“Bringing a reusable bag is an easy habit once people get used to it.”Salem Recycles started educational outreach in early 2017 to provide resources to Salem businesses and to help residents make the transition. Their efforts included the distribution of free reusable bags at Salem Recycles events around the community.“Salem Recycles and Salem Sound Coast watch have been wonderful partners ensuring our City is litter free and environmentally sustainable,” said Mayor Kim Driscoll. “I encourage all Salem residents and visitors to plan ahead and bring their reusable bags when shopping in our city starting January 1st.”
For further information about the reusable bags initiative, please visit www.salem.com/recycling or contact Julie Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-619-5679. You may also follow Salem Recycles at GreenSalem.com or on Facebook to receive updates on green initiatives in Salem.