Newton’s Board of Aldermen voted 22-0 Tuesday in favor of a ban on single use recyclable plastic bags.

We thank readers, many of whom wrote in letters to the Aldermen in support of the ban.

Retail stores with retail space of less than 3,500 square feet or multiple locations under 3,500 square feet would be exempt from the ban. Bags used for loose produce, laundry or dry-cleaner bags or newspaper bags will also be exempt. Bags that are
at least 3.0 Mils in thickness are also exempt.

The new rules are set to go into effect in 180 days. Extensions from six to 12 months are available for merchants who have excess stock of bags.

Fines for violators can be imposed, starting with a warning for a first offense, $100 for a second offense, $200 for the third offense and $300 thereafter.