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Ban on Plastic Bags and Polystyrene Containers will Benefit Recycled Shopping Bags

recycled shopping bags and containers

There is some good news for environmentalists and others who care about the environment. Brookline takes the initiative with a ban on plastic bags and polystyrene containers. However, store owners and restaurateurs have been given a reprieve, and can use up whatever stocks are lying with them before switching over to suitable alternatives.

According to Alan Balsam, Brookline’s director of public health and human services, the ban that was overdue, was taken after deliberations by the Brookline Town Meeting, which approved it as early as November 2012. With other cities in MA like Nantucket, Great Barrington and Somerville having imposed the ban already, Brookline follows suit. Restaurant owners have more time to pull up their act, considering that permits for food service establishments are granted during December. Balsam proposes to enforce the ban on polystyrene food and beverage containers in early January.

Prohibition of Plastic Bags and Polystyrene Containers Ban on Plastic Bags

With time until January to find suitable alternatives, restaurant and take-away eatery owners would probably opt for recycled shopping bags that are eco-friendly and acceptable to authorities. Given that plastic is probably the least biodegradable material; residents too have welcomed the move to ban plastics.

Officials at the public health department have been interacting with businesses, some of whom hold large inventories of the banned containers, especially the ones used for takeout food orders. The authorities understand that the transition has to be gradual, as finding suitable, cost effective alternatives can pose a challenge. With over 70 retail businesses and 350 food service establishments being affected by this ban, Balsam said that he expects most of them to request for a six month extension to comply with the new regulation.

Ban on Plastic Bags and Using Recycled Shopping Bags

One such business sure to pitch for an extension is Dunkin’ Donuts, which has already complied partly by finding a new eco friendly cup to replace the plastic one. However, they are yet to find a suitable lid that complies. As for the retail businesses, the ban affects stores with retail space of 2,500 square feet. In case the store has businesses in multiple locations, the combined space is taken into account. The same goes for retail pharmacies with two locations within the city limits. They can no longer provide customers with plastic check-out bags. The ban also applies to any supermarket with annual gross sales exceeding $1 million. It is time for Brookline residents to turn to environment friendly recycled shopping bags and shun the harmful plastic bags forever.


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