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NewsHome > News >

Worcester City Plastic Bag Ban Gets Council Approval

Time:2019-09-19 10:15 Author:Suny Group

The Worcester City Council has granted approval to an ordinance targeted at banning single-use platic bags at retail outlets. The ban will be effective April 1, 2020 onwards. The Council highlighted plastic bags as a major contributor to its litter problems.

The Council gave preliminary approval to the ordinance by a 11-0 vote Tuesday. The Council is expected to take a final decision on the ordinance in two weeks time, when it again comes before the Council. The Council had delayed its vote on the ordinance in its previously held session.

The approval comes after several amendments. It allows use of plastic bags for prescription medication, produce, meat, poultry and other food items, including fish and bread, to keep them from spoiling. As part of another major amendment, the ordinance now allows retailers to take decision on whether to charge and how much to charge for alternative shopping bags provided to customers, thus overriding the earlier clause which required retailers to charge a minimum of at least 5 cents per bag.

The Council stated that the ordinance will go into effect in April next year, thus allowing retailers sufficient time to adjust with the new regulations. However, fines for violating the ban will come into effect only by July 2020.

The plastic bag ban ordinance is considered to be in line with the various environmental initiatives including the Green Worcester Plan.


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