Cambridge, Mass Considering Plastic Bag Ban

Cambridge, Mass Considering Plastic Bag Ban

Cambridge, Massachusetts, February 10, 2014 (PBBR) - The city of Cambridge, Massachusetts is considering an ordinance to ban the use of single-use plastic checkout bags. The matter has been under consideration for several years.

City Hall, Cambridge, MA, USA. Shot by User:Scs (User:Ummit) and uploaded to Wikipedia 2005-09. Public Domain.
City Hall, Cambridge, MA, USA. Shot by User:Scs (User:Ummit) and uploaded to Wikipedia 2005-09. Public Domain.

A letter to the City Manager dated July 30, 2007, stated:

RE: Council Order #7 dated April 30, 2007:  Investigate banning Disposable plastic bags  from large retail stores and other measures to reduce use and increase recycling of plastic bags

At that time, plastic bag use in Cambridge was estimated at 25 million bags per year. That was almost seven years ago.

At a meeting of the Community Health Committee on Dec. 19, 2012, a motion was made and carried that instructed the City Solicitor to prepare a draft ordinance that will ban the use of plastic bags in the city. A draft ordinance was devised and in early 2013 the Climate Protection Action Committee (CPAC) made its recommendation on the proposed Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance.

CPAC recommends that the City include in any ordinance that bans single use plastic bags a requirement that retail stores impose a fee on paper bags and require a minimum amount of post-consumer recycled content. CPAC also recommends that “biodegradable” bags be included in any ban on plastic bags.

The City Council, at its regular meeting today, passed the draft ordinance to a second reading with the stipulation that another hearing take place before the final vote.

Mayor David Mayer stated that with councilor changes in the City Council meant that there was only two current councilors present at a December meeting when the first reading was passed. He felt that all council members should be able to hear the full proposal before voting on the ordinance.

See related plastic bag legislation in the State of Massachusetts.

Cover photo: Buildings of Kendall Square, center of Cambridge's biotech economy, seen from the Charles River. Public domain.

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