Newton is taking up important amendments to strengthen our plastic bag reduction ordinance on Wednesday, February 6 at 7pm at City Hall (Room 211, 1000 Commonwealth Ave., Newton). This includes adding a 10 cent fee on all store supplied check out bags, removing the exemption for small businesses (under 3,500 sq.ft.) and expanding the definition of a re-usable bag.
Please write a letter of support to the committee members ( and/or attend the meeting on Wednesday. It is not a public hearing but bodies in the room do show support.
 Referred to Programs & Services and Finance Committees #455-18 Ordinance amendments to the Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance COUNCILORS LEARY, NORTON, AUCHINCLOSS, BROUSAL GLASER, DANBERG, KALIS, MARKIEWICZ proposing ordinance amendments to Chapter 12, Section 71 by revising the definition of “reusable bag”, revising the definition for retailers to include establishments of less than 3,500 sq. ft., and adding a 10-cent fee for paper bags provided by the retailer.
The new definition:
  “Reusable checkout bag”, a sewn bag with stitched handles that (1) can carry 25 pounds over a distance of 300 feet; (2) is either (a) made of cloth or other machine washable fabric; or (b) made of plastic other than polyethylene (HDPE, LDPE, PETE, etc.) or polyvinyl chloride that is durable, non-toxic, and generally considered a food-grade material that is #455-18 more than 4 mils thick. (b) A store that provides any type of checkout bag shall sell them for no less than ten cents ($0.10). All moneys collected pursuant to this ordinance shall be retained by the store.