[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Mansfield as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 4-14-2020 ATM by Art. 32]
This bylaw is enacted for the purpose of eliminating the automatic distribution of single-use plastic straws and stirrers by all business establishments in the Town of Mansfield, except upon individual customer request. The production and use of single-use plastic straws and stirrers have significant impacts on the environment, including, but not limited to: contributing to pollution of our land and ocean environments; creating a burden to solid waste collection and recycling facilities; entering storm drains that lead to waterways leading to the ocean causing the harm and potential death of marine animals through ingestion; and requiring the use of millions of barrels of crude oil nationally for their manufacture.
- BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENT
- Means the following businesses as defined in the Mansfield Zoning Bylaw: a retail store; supermarket; general department store; restaurant; and take-out restaurant serving liquid, slurry, frozen, semi-frozen, or other forms of beverages to the public for consumption, not including nursing homes or nursing care or assisted living facilities or doctors or nurses or emergency medical technicians providing straws to patients.
- PLASTIC BEVERAGE STRAW
- Means a tube made predominantly of plastic derived from either petroleum or a biologically based polymer, such as corn or other plant sources, for transferring a beverage from its container to the mouth of the drinker. "Plastic beverage straw" includes compostable and biodegradable petroleum or biologically based polymer straws, but does not include straws that are made from nonplastic materials, such as, but not limited to, paper, sugar cane, hay, and bamboo.
- PLASTIC STIRRER
- Means a device that is used to mix beverages, intended for only one-time use, and made predominantly of plastic derived from either petroleum or a biologically based polymer, such as corn or other plant source. "Plastic stirrer" includes compostable and biodegradable petroleum or biologically based polymer stirrers, but does not include stirrers that are made from nonplastic materials, such as, but not limited to, paper, sugar cane, and bamboo.
- TOWN-SPONSORED EVENT
- Means any event organized or sponsored by the Town of Mansfield or any department of the Town of Mansfield.
Effective January 1, 2021, plastic beverage straws and plastic stirrers shall not be used or dispensed or sold except upon request in conjunction with the serving by business establishments or at any Town-sponsored event of liquid, slurry, frozen, semi-frozen, or other forms of beverages to the public for consumption.
Nothing in this bylaw prohibits the sale of plastic straws by supermarkets and general department stores in packages not in conjunction with the service of liquid, slurry, frozen, semi-frozen, or other forms of beverages to the public for consumption.
Nothing in this bylaw prohibits customers from using their own straws of any material for personal use in any business establishment.
The Health Agent or its designee is hereby designated and authorized as the officer charged with the enforcement of this bylaw.
Penalty for violation.
Whoever violates any provision of this bylaw shall be punished as follows: first offense: written warning; second offense: $50; third and subsequent offenses: $100 for each offense.
Offenses occurring within two years of the date of first reported offense will be considered as subsequent offenses. Each day or portion thereof shall constitute a separate offense. Nothing contained herein shall preclude the Health Agent from seeking equitable relief to enforce this bylaw.
Noncriminal disposition. In addition to the procedure for enforcement as described above, the provisions of this bylaw may also be enforced by noncriminal disposition, as provided in Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 40, § 21D. The penalty for such violation shall be a written warning for the first offense, $50 for the second offense, $100 for the third offense and each subsequent offense.
Hearing to suspend or revoke food service permit. The Health Agent, after a hearing, may suspend or revoke the food service permit for any business establishment failing to comply with this bylaw.
[Adopted 4-14-2020 ATM by Art. 33]
This bylaw is enacted for the purpose of eliminating the distribution of polystyrene containers by all food establishments in the Town of Mansfield:
Whereas, the Town has a duty to protect the health of its citizens and the natural environment.
Whereas, Styrofoam is the brand name for polystyrene (Dow Chemical Co.), a synthetic plastic that biodegrades so slowly (hundreds of years) it is considered to be nonbiodegradable.
Whereas, expanded polystyrene containers are not part of the Town's regular recycling program.
Whereas, styrene, the key ingredient in expanded polystyrene, was recently added to the National Toxicology Program's list of carcinogens (United States Department of Health and Human Services). Styrene can leach from polystyrene containers into food and beverages. It has become a major component of plastic debris in the ocean and animals often mistake it for food. It is also hazardous to marine life, transferring toxic chemicals to the food chain.
Whereas, several communities in Massachusetts have banned disposable food service containers, including Amherst, Brookline, Chelmsford, Great Barrington, Nantucket, Somerville, South Hadley, Williamstown as well as major cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami Beach, New York City, Portland, and Seattle. This bylaw is patterned after similar ones enacted in Massachusetts.
Whereas, appropriate alternative products are readily available from vendors and are already being used by many of our businesses.
This bylaw shall take effect January 1, 2021.
- DISPOSABLE FOOD SERVICE CONTAINER
- Shall mean single-use disposable products for serving or transporting prepared, ready-to-consume food or beverages, including, without limitation, take-out foods and/or leftovers from partially consumed meals prepared by a food establishment. This includes, but is not limited to plates, cups, bowls, trays, hinged or lidded containers, cups, lids, straws, and utensils. It does not include single-use disposable packaging for unprepared foods.
- EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE
- Shall mean blown polystyrene (polystyrene that has been expanded or blown using a gaseous blowing agent into a solid foam) and expanded and extruded forms, which are thermoplastic petrochemical materials utilizing a styrene monomer and processed by any number of techniques, including, but not limited to, fusion of polymer spheres (expandable bead polystyrene), injection molding, form molding, and extrusion blow molding (extruded foam polystyrene). The term also includes clear or solid polystyrene, which is also known as "oriented," or referenced in this bylaw as "rigid polystyrene." Rigid polystyrene is generally used to make clear clamshell containers, lids, and cutlery.
- FINEABLE OFFENSE
- Is defined as a knowing common use of item or items restricted by the bylaw. Common use refers to item or items that are part of one's normal or daily use.
- FOOD ESTABLISHMENT
- Shall mean any operation that stores, prepares, packages, serves, vends, or otherwise provides food for human consumption, as further defined in 105CMR 590.002. Any establishment requiring a permit to operate in accordance with the State Food Code, 105 CMR 590.000, et seq., shall be considered a food establishment for purposes of this bylaw.
- PREPARED FOOD
- Shall mean any food or beverage prepared on the food establishment's premises using any cooking or food preparation technique. Prepared food does not include any raw uncooked meat, fish or eggs unless provided for consumption without further food preparation. Prepared food may be eaten on or off the food establishment's premises.
- TOWN FACILITY
- Shall mean any building, structure, land, or recreational area owned, leased, or operated by the Town of Mansfield.
Except as provided herein, food establishments are prohibited from dispensing prepared food and drink in disposable food service containers made from expanded polystyrene. All food establishments are strongly encouraged to use reusable food service containers and cutlery, and when possible biodegradable, compostable alternatives. Compostable materials must meet ASTM (American Society of the International Association for Testing and Materials) Standards for compostability.
Town departments or agencies shall not purchase or use disposable food service containers made from expanded polystyrene while in the performance of official Town duties.
Individuals, contractors, vendors, or other entities shall not use disposable food service containers made from expanded polystyrene in a Town facility or Town property while acting or performing under a Town contract, lease, license, permit, grant, or other agreement.
Nothing in this section shall prohibit someone from purchasing or using said containers for personal use, nor shall it prohibit any individual from purchasing or using said containers for a private function or when serving food on property owned by that person.
Any food establishment or Town Department and its agencies may make a written application to the Board of Health for a variance from this bylaw.
Every application for a variance is subject to a public hearing. Notice of the hearing shall be posted as part of a public notice of the Board of Health meeting at which the application will be considered. Notice shall be posted five business days, or the maximum allowed under current bylaws, before the meeting.
By vote of a majority of its full authorized membership, the Board of Health may grant a variance only in cases where a suitable biodegradable, compostable, reusable or recyclable alternative does not exist for a specific usage, and/or enforcement of this bylaw would cause undue hardship to that food establishment or Town Department.
A variance may be granted for up to six months and extended for like periods upon submission of a renewal application.
Any variance granted by the Board shall be in writing.
A copy of the variance granted under this section shall be available for public inspection on the premises for which it is issued.
Enforcement. The Town Health Director or its designee shall have primary responsibility for enforcement of this bylaw. This shall include: establishment of regulations or administrative procedures, inspections, and issuance of citations for violations.
Penalty for violation.
Whoever violates any provision of this bylaw shall be punished as follows: first offense: $100; second offense: $200; third and subsequent offenses: $300 for each offense.
Offenses occurring within two years of the date of first reported offense will be considered as subsequent offenses. Each day or portion thereof shall constitute a separate offense. Nothing contained herein shall preclude the Board of Health from seeking equitable relief to enforce this bylaw.
Noncriminal disposition. In addition to the procedure for enforcement as described above, the provisions of this bylaw may also be enforced by noncriminal disposition, as provided in Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 40, § 21D. The penalty for such violation shall be $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second offense, and $100 for the third and each subsequent offense.
Hearing to suspend or revoke license or permit. The Board of Health, after a hearing conducted in accordance with the procedures set forth in 105 CMR590.14 and CMR 590.15, may suspend or revoke the license or permit for any establishment failing to comply with this bylaw.