[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Medfield 4-29-2019 ATM by Art. 21. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Plastic bag ordinances have proven to be effective in reducing plastic bag consumption and litter and are part of a growing global movement towards sustainability. As of January 1, 2019, 88 cities and towns in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have enacted bylaws to reduce plastic bag usage.
The purpose of this bylaw is to eliminate the usage of thin-film, single-use plastic bags at checkout by all merchants in the Town of Medfield, on and after the effective date specified herein.
The Town is committed to protecting the environment and the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens. This will help reduce the common use of plastic checkout bags and encourage the use of reusable bags by consumers, thereby reducing local land and aquatic pollution, advancing solid waste reduction, maintaining Medfield's exterior beauty and improving the quality of life for the citizens of the Town.
- CHECKOUT BAGS
- A carryout bag provided by a store to a customer at the point of sale or other point of departure for the purpose of transporting food or merchandise from the establishment. 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 stores.
- RECYCLABLE PAPER BAG
- A paper bag that is:
- RETAIL ESTABLISHMENT
- Any retail operation located in the Town which sells goods, food or provides personal services to the public, including restaurants.
- REUSABLE CHECKOUT BAG
- A sewn bag with stitched handles that is:
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 customers at a reasonable price.
Thin-film plastic bags used to contain dry cleaning, newspapers, produce, meat, fresh produce, bulk foods, wet items and other similar merchandise, typically without handles, are still permissible under this bylaw.
Each day that a violation continues shall be treated as a separate offense.
This bylaw may be enforced by the Medfield Police Department, the Building Commissioner and Building Inspectors and the Board of Health Agent(s).
This bylaw shall take effect on and after November 1, 2019.