Town Council Approves Ban of Plastic Bags in Watertown

Town Hall – Beginning on July 1st of 2017, Watertown businesses will no longer be able use single-use plastic bags in their stores. The Town Council voted to pass the legislation with a vote of 8-0 at the most recent Town Council meeting. Councilor Ken Woodland, who proposed the ban, voted as “present.”

“This ordinance recognizes that a reduction in the use of plastic bags by commercial entities in our city is a public purpose that aims to protect the marine environment,” said Woodland. “This is not an outright ban on all things plastic.”

This new ordinance will ban single-use plastic bags, which are the bags consumers typically find at Target, Stop & Shop, and other grocery stores. Watertown will join a growing list of other towns and cities across Massachusetts that have already banned plastic bags for commercial use.

Attendees at the meeting argued both for and against the ban, citing the benefits it would have for marine life along the Charles River. Others believe it could adversely affect smaller businesses. Councilor Woodland proposed an exemption for smaller businesses in town so the ban would only apply to stores 3,000-square-feet in size or with three or more locations in Massachusetts. However, this amendment lost 6-3.

Check Out the Video!

Produced by Sam Dudley, Videographer
Filmed on June 09, 2016

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