[HISTORY: Adopted as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 5-6-2019 ATM by Art. 25]
The production and use of thin film single-use plastic bags have detrimental impacts on the environment, wildlife and natural beauty of Dover. This includes the potential death of marine life through ingestion and entanglement, along with adding to the immense pollution of land and sea ecosystems. Also, it burdens solid waste collection and recycling facilities, clogs storm drains, and require millions of barrels of crude oil for their manufacturing. The purpose of this bylaw is to ban the use of thin film single-use plastic bags by all retail stores and restaurants in the Town of Dover.
As used in this bylaw, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- 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
- Bags with a thickness of 2.5 mm or less and which are intended for single-use transport of purchased products.
Thin film single-use plastic bags shall not be distributed or sold for checkout or other purposes at any retail stores or restaurants within the Town of Dover, MA.
Customers are encouraged to bring their own reusable checkout bag. As well, retail stores and restaurants are strongly encouraged to provide reusable checkout bags for sale at a reasonable price.
Thin film single-use plastic bags without handles that are used to contain produce, meat, bulk foods, wet items, newspapers, dry cleaning, and other similar merchandise will not be subject to this bylaw.
This bylaw shall go into effect three months after approval by the Attorney General, giving businesses time to prepare for and adjust to the change.
The Town Administrator shall be responsible for the enforcement of this bylaw. He/she will determine the inspection process, incorporating the process into other Town duties as appropriate.
The Town Administrator shall be authorized to permit a six-month implementation waiver for extenuating circumstances upon request as he/she sees fit.