All the environmentalists in Great Barrington heaved a sigh of relief when the Board of Selectmen of the town voted in favor of the implementation of the plastic bag ban. Back in its yearly town meeting in May, the town had agreed to the reduction of plastic bags by law. After the recent vote in favor of the implementation, this law will come into effect from the beginning of next year.

Delay in the Implementation Along With Use of Bamboo Grocery Bags

The law could have been easily passed this year itself, way back in July, but the board decided to extend the date of implementation of the ban to next year. This has been done to give enough time to the town to get prepared for the new change. The board feels that this extension will help the residents as well as the retailers of the city to reduce the use of plastic bags. When asked about the delay in the implementation of the law, Deborah Phillips, a member of the board, said that the idea behind the delay is to make the regulation doable rather than burdensome.

Meanwhile, the town will also do its best to educate people about the law. It will also try to inform the businesses in the town beforehand so that they do not end up stocking new plastic bags.

Under this bag ban, the use and production of plastic bags that can be used just once will be prohibited. Also, the retailers of the town will not be allowed to provide plastic bags at their checkout counters for giving away supplies to their customers. This step has been taken by the town board looking at the potential harm that these plastic bags do to the environment as they degrade at a very slow rate.

The officials revealed that they have also lined up a public information drive on this bag ban which is likely to begin by the start of fall. As the officials are headed towards making the town plastic-free, anyone violating the law will be liable to pay a fine that would range from $50 to $200.

Residents Can Find Solace in Bamboo Grocery Bags and Other Reusable Bags

The residents of the town can switch to recyclable bags like bamboo grocery bags, cloth bags, totes, and so on to carry their groceries and other supplies. The town warrant stated that customers will be encouraged to carry biodegradable or reusable shopping bags with them to the stores. Retailers too will be allowed to offer recyclable or reusable bags made from fabric or any other material that is not harmful to the environment.