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Town of Medfield, MA
Norfolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Medfield 4-29-2019 ATM by Art. 21. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A. 
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.
B. 
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.
C. 
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:
A. 
100% recyclable, including the handles.
B. 
Contains at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content; and
C. 
Displays the words "recyclable" and "made from 40% post-consumer recycled content" (or other applicable amount) in a visible manner on the outside of the bag.
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:
A. 
Specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse;
B. 
Can carry 25 pounds over a distance of 300 feet; and
C. 
Is made of cloth or other machine washable fabric, provided that it may not be constructed of polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride.
A. 
If any retail establishment, as defined in § 195-2, provides checkout bags to customers, the bag must be either a recyclable paper bag or a reusable checkout bag, as defined in § 195-2.
B. 
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.
C. 
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.
A. 
Any retail establishment violating the requirement(s) contained in § 195-3 of this bylaw shall be subject to a fine as follows:
(1) 
First offense: warning.
(2) 
Second offense: $50.
(3) 
Third and subsequent offenses: $100.
B. 
Each day that a violation continues shall be treated as a separate offense.
C. 
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.