To follow up on paper bag use one year after the implementation of Newton’s Plastic Bag Ordinance, City Councilor Alison Leary and a Newton South High School student canvassed CVS and Walgreens stores in Needham and Newton to compare the distribution of plastic and paper bags to customers. They found that all CVS and Walgreens stores in Needham (with no plastic bag ban, but considering one) use only plastic, and quite a lot of it. The Newton stores report using the same amount of paper bags as plastic bags.
- At the CVS on Highland Ave. in Needham around 6,000 plastic bags are given to customers each week.
- At the Walgreens in Needham around 3,000 to 4,000 plastic bags are given to customers each week.
- At the CVS in Needham on Great Plain Ave. around 3,000 plastic bags are given to customers each week.
- At the CVS store in Newton Centre around 3,000 paper bags are given to customers each week. The manager reported using the same number of bags since before the ordinance went into effect, but now they are paper bags, which are more expensive.
- At the Walgreens on the corner of Beacon St. and Walnut St. in Newton they still use about the same number of bags. Customers are not bringing their own bags. They don’t sell reusable bags and there is no effort to encourage reusable bags. When asked, the Store Manager said he would be open to a fee on paper bags.