Newburyport, MA Hears Proposed Plastic Bag Ban

Newburyport, MA Hears Proposed Plastic Bag Ban

Written by Janine Brunell Looker

Newburyport, Massachusetts, (PBBR) - On Monday, March 17, an ordinance to limit the distribution of thin-film, single-use plastic bags in Newburyport was presented to the Newburyport City Council. The ordinance, submitted by City Councilor Barry Connell, cites the significant environmental impact of plastic bags on the marine and land environment of all coastal communities.

The proposed ban is limited to thin-film, single-use plastic bags with integral handles – the typical plastic bag given at checkout. After being introduced, the proposed ban will be sent to committee for further study, and brought back to the full City Council for a vote.


For almost two years, Citizens for Sustainable Bagging has teamed up with students at Newburyport High School (NHS), RVCS and the Gulf of Maine Institute to heighten public awareness of the effects of plastic pollution on the environment and human health.

The introduction of the proposed ban to the Newburyport City Council comes after extensive work by area students including public showings of the documentary 'Bag It,' public discussion of the documentary and two surveys of Newburyport retailers and citizens to gage public opinion about this issue. Response to the idea of a ban on plastic bags has been overwhelmingly positive.

Further public showings of 'Bag It' will be airing via Port Media cable TV throughout the months of March and April. Tune in to Channel 8 on Sundays at 5:00 pm, Tuesdays at 3:30 pm, Thursdays at 7:00 pm, Fridays at 5:30 and 9:00 pm, and Saturdays at 11:00 pm to watch this informative documentary that describes how and why communities around the globe are opting to limit the use of disposable plastic bags. 

If Newburyport is successful in passing a ban on thin-film, single-use plastic bags, it will be joining ranks with all of the islands of Hawaii, San Francisco and numerous cities and countries around the world. In Massachusetts, these bags have been banned in Brookline, Great Barrington and Manchester-by-the-Sea. All these communities have found alternative solutions to the use of this particular, and particularly noxious, type of plastic bag. 

For further information, contact Janine Brunell Looker at janine@looker.ws. Information can also be found on The City of Newburyport's web page. To learn more about Citizens for Sustainable Bagging go to Citizens for Sustainable Bagging, Newburyport, MA on Facebook.

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Cover photo: Newburyport High School. Author: Fletcher6 from wikipedia. Licensed by Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)