Wednesday, April 19 at 7pm. Online.

The Newton City Council’s Programs & Services Committee will hold a public comment on the proposed expanded packaging ordinance at their meeting tonight (see agenda). The ordinance proposes to eliminate a broad array of single use plastic items including black plastic take out containers and single use plastic water bottles. You can learn more about the list of items to be removed and background information including neighboring communities that have enacted similar ordinances.

  • There are viable alternatives to non-recyclable containers like black plastic. Brookline has had a similar ban in place since 2017.
  • Concord has had a single use plastic water bottle ban since 2012, and there are over 20 other Massachusetts communities that have a version of a ban on single use plastic water bottles. Newton has excellent tap water quality. Newton city buildings are installing water filling stations where ever possible to encourage refillable water bottle use.

Please consider attending the meeting and speaking briefly in support of the proposed ordinance. We are in a plastics crisis and need to reduce  the use of plastics–especially single use plastics–which we use once and throw away.

You can also email the P & S Committee and tell them you support the proposed ordinance. Send your message to the P & S Committee clerk, Jaclyn Norton at

The World Economic Forum published these recycling statistics of 2022:

1. Of the 40 million tons of plastic waste generated in the U.S. in 2021, only 5% to 6% — or about two million tons — was recycled.

2. Between 2019 and 2020, there was a 5.7% overall decrease in plastics recovered for recycling in the U.S. That is the equivalent of 290 million pounds.

3. Approximately 36% of all plastic produced is used to create packaging, 85% of which ends up in landfills.

4. About 98% of single-use plastic products are made from fossil fuels.

5. Globally, we produce about 400 million tons of plastic waste yearly.

6. Until recently, the U.S. outsourced a significant portion of its plastic, but import bans in countries like China and Turkey have fueled a decline in recycling.

7. The total bottle recycling rate for 2020 was 27.2%, down from 28.7% in 2019.

8. Every hour, 2.5 million plastic bottles are thrown away in the U.S.

9. Between 75 and 199 million tons of plastic are currently in our oceans.

10. Plastic bottles take upwards of 450 years to degrade.