[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Lunenberg 11-13-2018 STM by Art. 17. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The production and use of thin-film single-use plastic checkout bags have significant impacts on the environment, including, but not limited to: contributing to the potential death of marine animals through ingestion and entanglement; contributing to pollution of the land environment; creating a burden to solid waste collection and recycling facilities; clogging storm drainage systems; and requiring the use of millions of barrels of crude oil nationally for their manufacture.
The purpose of this bylaw is to eliminate the usage of thin-film single-use plastic bags by all retail and grocery stores in the Town of Lunenburg, by June 1, 2019.
- CHECKOUT BAG
- A carryout bag provided by a store to a consumer at the point of sale. Checkout bags shall not include bags, whether plastic or not, in which loose produce or products are placed by the consumer to deliver such items to the point of sale or checkout area of the store.
- GROCERY STORE
- A retail establishment where more than 50% of the gross floor area is devoted to the sale of food products for home preparation and consumption, which typically also offers home care and personal care products.
- RETAIL STORE
- An establishment that offers the sale and display of merchandise within a building.
- REUSABLE CHECKOUT BAG
- A bag, with handles, that is specifically designed for multiple use and is made of thick plastic, cloth, fabric or other durable materials.
- THIN-FILM SINGLE-USE PLASTIC BAGS
- Typically with plastic handles, these are bags with a thickness of 2.5 mils or less and are intended for single-use transport of purchased products.
Thin-film single-use plastic bags shall not be distributed, used, or sold for checkout or other purposes at any retail or grocery store within the Town of Lunenburg.
Customers are encouraged to bring their own reusable or biodegradable shopping bags to stores. Retail or grocery stores are strongly encouraged to make reusable checkout bags available for sale to costumers at a reasonable price.
Thin-filmed plastic bags used to contain dry cleaning, newspapers, produce, meat, bulk foods, wet items and other similar merchandise, typically without handles, are still permissible.
Enforcement of this bylaw shall be the responsibility of the Town Manager or his/her designee. The Town Manager shall determine the inspection process to be followed, incorporating the process into other town duties as appropriate. Any retail or grocery store distributing plastic grocery bags in violation of this bylaw shall be subject to a non-criminal disposition fine as specified in Appendix A of the Regulations for Enforcement of Town Bylaws under M.G.L. Chapter 40, 21D and the Bylaw for Non-Criminal Disposition of Violations. Any such fines shall be paid to the Town of Lunenburg.
And to amend Appendix A of the Non-Criminal Disposition Bylaw by adding the following: