Marblehead, MA Bans Plastic Bags

Marblehead, MA Bans Plastic Bags

Marblehead, Massachusetts, May 8, 2014 (PBBR) - This past Monday night, May 5, 2014, at the annual Town Meeting, Marblehead voters decided to ban the use of plastic shopping bags by retailers in the town.

Set to take effect in twelve months, the new law states:

A. No retail establishment in the Town of Marblehead shall provide Thin-Film, Single-Use Plastic Bags to customers.

B. If a retail establishment provides Carryout Bags to customers, the bags must be one of the following:

  1. Recyclable paper bag, or
  2. Reusable Carryout Bag, or
  3. Bag made from a polymer which meets the specifications of ASTM D6400 and ASTM 7081, as defined herein.

C. Exception: Thin-film plastic bags typically without handles which are used to contain dry cleaning, produce, newspapers, meat, bulk food, wet items and other similar merchandise are not prohibited under this bylaw.

Marblehead, a historic coastal town of just under 20,000 people, is situated on a peninsula just 18 miles north of Boston. It is home to State Rep. Lori Ehrlich who has sponsored legislation for statewide regulations on plastic bags. For an update, visit Ehrlich's website at

Marblehead is nearby other Massachusetts towns which have banned plastic bags: 14 miles south of Manchester-by-the-Sea; 20 miles north of Brookline. The town is also in close proximity to three other towns that are considering plastic bag bans: Newburyport, Newton, and Cambridge.

Marblehead has just been added to the updated List of Bans.


Cover photo: Marblehead, MA dock and harbor by Tom W. Sulcer. This photo is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

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