Provincetown, Cape Cod’s 1st Town To Regulate Bags

Provincetown, Cape Cod’s 1st Town To Regulate Bags

Provincetown, MA, Oct. 27, 2014 (PBBR) - Cape Cod's first plastic bag regulations were passed today in Provincetown. At Special Town Meeting, Article 8, General Bylaw Amendment/Plastic Bag Reduction was passed and will take effect April 15, 2015. A new section will be added to the town's bylaws which will be known as Provincetown Single-Use Plastic Bag Reduction Bylaw.

Provincetown's Recycling and Renewable Energy Committee (RREC) drafted the legislation. The Committee worked over a year on the bylaw and met many business owners and citizens to discuss the importance of reducing the use of plastic bags.

Lydia Hamnquist,  an RREC member, contacted PBBR's Ted Duboise several months ago requesting information pertaining to plastic bag bans. Ted supplied Lydia with lots of research and fielded questions to support the RREC's quest. Lydia and the Committee worked tirelessly even after the bylaw was voted down at Town Meeting in April.

"My committee worked with retailers in town to draft the article," stated Lydia. She continued, "We now are faced with getting information out to retailers and figuring out enforcement issues. Our law only applies to bags that are less than 1.5 mils but includes compostable and biodegradable bags (we plan to increase the mils in the future)."

 The Bylaw applies to any and all businesses in Provincetown that sell goods, articles, food, or personal services including restaurants, bars, retailers, florists, and galleries. Newspaper covers, prescription medications and dry cleaning are exempt from the regulations.

A small coastal resort town, Provincetown is at the extreme northern tip of Cape Cod.

About Recycling and Renewable Energy Committee

The RREC is made up of five members and two alternate members. RREC's mission is to develop strategies for recycling as much of Provincetown's trash as possible and to support alternative energy sources. Projects include recycling, energy reduction, solar energy and wind energy.

For more information, please visit the Town's website at

Cover photo: View of Provincetown looking east from Pilgrim Monument. By WestportWiki (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons