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Boston council passes ban on plastic bags

The City Council today unanimously approved a measure that would ban thin plastic shopping bags and enact a 5-cent fee on paper bags and thicker plastic bags, as a way of reducing litter, helping the environment and curbing the use of the oil required to make them.

The measure, proposed by City Councilor Matt O'Malley (West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain) and Michelle Wu (at large), would go into effect in a year if approved by Mayor Walsh.

O'Malley said the measure would save the city money just in reducing the amount of bags the city's recycling company is now forced to spend "hours each day" picking out of recycling collections - in addition to leading to cleaner streets and parks and reducing the amount of plastic that birds and other creatures now consume inadvertently.

"Their convenience does not outweigh the significant costs associated with them," O'Malley said.

O'Malley estimated city residents now use 357 million of the bags a year. The proposed 5-cent fee would be a way to "incentivize" residents to increase their use of reusable bags without being too onerous, he said.

At the same time, Councilor Ayanna Pressley (at large) urged the city to look at ways to distribute free reusable bags in low-income neighborhoods and among seniors. She noted that people who shop at some supermarkets, such as Save-a-Lot in Roxbury, already face a fee for getting store-supplied fees - and that shoppers there are showing their preference for a more environmentally friendly future.

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Comments

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Voting closed 20

Not the city if that's what you're asking

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Voting closed 16

Just sayin'.

So, having done no research on the new ordinance, I don't know. But I do have a question...who gets the bugs that will inevitably get into all those repeatedly reused bags? You know, the ones that will crawl into the bags (not yours, of course, you rinse them out every time you use them) as they are stored on a shelf waiting to be brought back to the store?

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Voting closed 10

But I do have a question...who gets the bugs that will inevitably get into all those repeatedly reused bags? You know, the ones that will crawl into the bags (not yours, of course, you rinse them out every time you use them) as they are stored on a shelf waiting to be brought back to the store?

Is there an issue with bugs in bags that are reused?

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Voting closed 19

What a bunch of jerks. Really, everything that is going on in the world and you're worrying about plastic bags? Don't hurt yourselves patting each other on the back.

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Voting closed 83

Yes, trying not to leave a huge mess for future generations is awful. Why should we pick up the mess we create? I guess we will all starve to death now because humanity wasn't able to acquire food before the plastic bag was invented. Thanks ObAMA....not!!1!

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Voting closed 83

I'm all for reducing or eliminating plastic bags...but why add a 5cent fee on paper bags?!?

If the goal is to reduce plastic, then either a) ban them or b) add fees, like 5cents per bag

Don't also add fees for paper bags!!! Why are you making it harder to purchase groceries for Boston residents?!?

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Voting closed 13

California has banned plastic bags in the whole state and I believe paper bags have a 10 cent fee, DOUBLE Boston's. Some how the world keeps turning and CA still has the largest economy in the country. Bring reusable bags to the market, I've been doing it for years.

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Voting closed 58

Here's a link to a National Geographic story about plastic being disposed in the ocean. Now, it seems from the article that the US isn't the biggest part of the problem.
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/02/150212-ocean-debris-pla...
As a relatively rich country, we can do a lot to try to alleviate the problem. Poor countries just dump all the junk into the rivers that eventually feed into the ocean.
"The new study also identifies the major sources of plastic debris and names the top 20 countries generating the greatest amount of ocean-bound trash. China is first. The United States is 20th. The rest of the list includes 11 other Asian countries, Turkey, five African countries, and Brazil."

Considering the amount we generate, the infrastructure we have to recapture it, the problem seems to be other, poorer countries.

But I get it. You're (not specifically poster) doing something about the plastic bags. Good for you. So virtuous.

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Voting closed 12

I believe the ordinance says a MINIMUM fee of 5 cents. Who knows what kind of fees one might see, depending on the store.

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Voting closed 12

What does Obama have to do with it?

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Voting closed 10

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Voting closed 17

Yes I am worried about it - and you would be too if you saw this and had an ounce of common sense:
https://inhabitat.com/shocking-caribbean-photos-reveal-a-sea-of-plastic-...

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Voting closed 21

everything that is going on in the world and you're worrying about plastic bags?

What a dumb statement. There is literally nothing more important than the world itself and plastic bags are helping to destroy it. Open a book.

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Voting closed 12

Is for children.

Be quiet now. Grownups are talking about the serious environmental impact of plastic bags on our ecosystem. Just because you choose not to do your homework, doesn't mean that you get to derail grownup discussion.

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Voting closed 17

...the people that have to carry their dog shit around with them instead of placing it in the (closed for the winter because frozen dogshit is no fun) solar powered dogshit containers AG wrote about last week?

They recycle their bags.

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Voting closed 17

The great thing about plastic is it doesn't disappear. Ask around to your neighbors for all the bags they have wadded up in a corner somewhere.

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Voting closed 45

UV light breaks down plastic. Ask any greenhouse operator.
So, throw the bags up into the trees and eventually they will break down.

On a more serious note, the plastic is a petrochemical product. Separate them out, put them in a landfill, in a while (a long while) they might be worth mining.

Gotta think of the future.

Keeping plastic out of the ocean is great. Look up 'drift net fish kills'. Nets are like Martians on 'War of the Worlds'.

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Voting closed 10

No they don't.

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Voting closed 15

They re-use them once. They don't recycle them.

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Voting closed 21

...a guy in Arizona built a house out of old beer bottles and adobe mud.

The article praised him for recycling the bottles. Yet, they were only used twice.

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Voting closed 12

I'd say that every time that house shelters him or his stuff or his friends/family from something, those bottles are being used

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Voting closed 34

Dump out the turds, keep the bag for next time.

Then you're recycling them.

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Voting closed 58

1) Typo: "a fee for getting store-supplied fees..."

2) What is the definition of a "thin" bag versus a "thicker" bag?

P.S. People! You cannot put plastic bags into the recycling bins. I guess people will just never get that.

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Voting closed 13

Boston has been encouraging people to use plastic bags over recycling bins for recycled trash for a few years now.

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Voting closed 31

Are we supposed to bag the recycling in plastic bags?

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Voting closed 17

From what I understand, if you live in a neighborhood that uses the blue recycle bins, you are not supposed to put any plastic bags in with the recycling.

I think some neighborhoods use clear plastic bags instead of the blue bins.

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Voting closed 16

Most stores take them back. They have bins in the front accessway of the store for that purpose.

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Voting closed 18

This seems to mirror Cambridge's bag policy, though with lower paper bag costs (Cambridge is 10 cents). I prefer Somerville's policy where you get free paper bags. Sometimes you didn't intend to go to the supermarket and you don't have your bags. In Cambridge and soon Boston, you'll be "taxed" because of that. If a merchant is willing to give away free paper bags, that should be their choice. This law should have allowed for the bag surcharge if the store decided it was in their best interest (to make up for their difference in cost between paper and plastic).

RE Pressley's remarks: free paper bags would have addressed the issue for low income residents and seniors.

RE O'Malley's remarks: the dire environmental concern only applies to the plastic bags, not paper (so paper should be free).

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Voting closed 17

You aren't being "taxed" for forgetting bags. You are being taxed for being wasteful. All that litter and pollution costs countless dollars to clean up. You can't go a block in this city without seeing a plastic bag stuck in a tree, tossed on the sidewalk etc. Other cities and entire countries have solved this issue by banning plastic bags. We would be dumb to not follow programs that have been proven to work.

Paper bags are wasteful too if not recycled. Its not hard to keep a reusable bag in your purse, backpack, bike basket, trunk etc.

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Voting closed 15

It is hard to keep enough reusable bags for a full grocery load in my backpack. It's really easy to keep enough plastic bags.

How many countless dollars has Cambridge saved in litter and pollution costs since their bag ban started? Nobody knows, since nobody is even asking that question. It's not about practical problem solving -- it's about appearance.

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Voting closed 55

Contact Matt O'Malley's office. He and his staff spent several months talking to officials in other cities with nag bans and collected specific numbers (some of which he quoted today, but I'm at a Starbucks without my laptop).

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Voting closed 24

Starbucks? I thought you were a die hard Duncan's Donuts fan.

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Voting closed 12

But, alas, I needed to make a Target run (the earbuds I use with my scanner budded their last and I have a Target gift card) and they have a Starbucks built right in (OK and true confession: Sometimes, if I'm running late and don't have time to make breakfast before I head downtown for a licensing hearing, I'll go to the News Cafe, or whatever it's called, across from City Hall, which serves Starbucks, rather than one of the 62,000 Dunkin' Donuts downtown because it has seats and I can put as much milk in my coffee as I like).

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Voting closed 19

Are a monster.

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Voting closed 0

So you can now rest easy. The plastic earbuds you'll buy in their plastic packaging, that you will be paying for with your plastic gift card - will be given to you in a paper bag to take home. World saved

:-)

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Voting closed 25

Nobody is going to stop you from bringing plastic bags with you, they just won't give them to you.

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Voting closed 17

They won't sell plastic bags to me either. Since they can't, by law.

Maybe I'll buy them on Amazon. What's the environmental cost of that?

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Voting closed 16

I usually have at least one thin nylon bag (ecosax or similar) that folds up to about 2"×3" in my back pack at all times. Easily holds a good sized grocery shop (about what a conventional paper bag does, or a bit more). I've never had one wear out or tear, machine washable, and tiny. Won't be without them.

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Voting closed 14

But I agree with your position in appearance. Just like the Prius craze when an affordable, feasible hybrid hit the market.

And get a lovebag, they fold up to the size of a child’s fist. They’re strong, and can fit a bunch of stuff in them (I can easily carry a quick trip to Roche Bros)

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Voting closed 28

The tax comment was for the people who feel that anytime they have to pay more for something, it is a "tax". I don't agree and that's why I put it in quotes.

The point of this ban wasn't to cut down on waste in general, it was to eliminate the use of single-use plastic bags, which pollute the environment because 1) they don't break down and 2) they're littered all around town.

The paper bags are recyclable and break down in a fairly short time.

The 5 (or 10) cent fee for everywhere else in the country is to get buy-in from merchants who now have to buy more expensive bags. Paper and recyclable plastic bags cost A LOT more than the cheap bags we're used to. Remember, the merchant keeps this bag fee, it doesn't go to recycling programs, etc. It should have been worded as an option for the merchant to charge if they feel it makes business sense to them. What kind of bizarre law is "every business must sell recyclable bags as a unique item, but they can't sell them for less than x price."

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Voting closed 15

"What kind of bizarre law is "every business must sell recyclable bags as a unique item, but they can't sell them for less than x price.""

Government orders you to sell something, then sets the price.

I have no idea what that's called. Maybe some Really Smart Anon can tell us how that works.

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Voting closed 14

You are truly specious.

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Voting closed 9

It costs money to produce bags. It costs money to deal with their disposal. Why do you want a free ride?

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Voting closed 25

Plastic bags cost a fraction of a cent. That's why virtually every store felt it was worth it to give them away.

Now they can't sell them at any price.

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Voting closed 14

To recover a ballot and erase a filled-in oval? I would like to do that with my ballot and Michelle Wu.

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Voting closed 17

She didn't exactly flip flop on this. Sure, the optics are there (members avoiding talking about this on the campaign trail) but I believe her views on the matter were well known.

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Voting closed 16

I didn't see "I'm a greedy statist pig who wants to tax people 5 cents for using plastic bags without giving people 5 cents for using canvas bags" on her website. Just the usual "my family was immigrants!" boilerplate claptrap I see from people who seek municipal office.

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Voting closed 17

Which do you prefer:

  1. Charging people for trash disposal based on the amount of trash they generate
  2. Charging people for trash disposal based on the value of the real estate they own

I would have thought you would prefer the former. Charging for bags is a step in that direction.

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Voting closed 16

A step in the direction of sincere concern for waste collection and the environment would be a deposit on plastic bags, not a tax.

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Voting closed 16

Just buy a reusable bag for a dollar and then get of my lawn.

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Voting closed 15

How is "Charging the user of something for what it actually costs, rather than the taxpayers at large footing the bill," a step towards taxation?

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Voting closed 15

Why do you expect to get a free bag? Why do you expect to be able to throw it anywhere you want and have others deal with the consequences?

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Voting closed 17

The store pays for it, and they pass the cost to me. Then I put it in my garbage, and my landlord pays for waste collection, and passes the cost to me.

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Voting closed 0

Why don't stores charge for the rubber band holding the blueberry container shut? Or the twist-tie on the bread bag?

Because the cost is minuscule.

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Voting closed 9

/Chicago Socialist? Her being elected in Roslindale shows how fast the neighborhood is being gentrified.

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Voting closed 16

I ask because a Boston resident who feels compelled to comment on a city councilor might know that she's an at-large councilor, which means she has to get votes everywhere (also, she first got elected while still living in the South End).

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Voting closed 0

Scary educated people who give a crap are ... are ... ELECTED TO RUN THINGS IN THE CITY!!!

RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!1!!!!!!11!!!1!!

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Voting closed 12

This bill was filed in January and Wu was a co-sponsor. It has been in the media since. You just don't pay attention. Low information voter here. Spend less time on pointless screeds and more time educating yourself on what actually is going on. Sad.

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Voting closed 17

O'Malley and Wu set up a task force on the issue in August, 2016. It was in all the papers (and here). But because the council didn't act before Dec. 31, they had to re-file the measure for the new year, because that's how the council rolls.

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Voting closed 14

I think this is an excellent idea. We have way too many cheap plastic bags creating a lot of waste. (I'm looking at you CVS.) They're not even reusable because they are so thin and crappy.

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Voting closed 22

I was prepared to get snarky because I depend on grocery bags to scoop the cat box, but you're absolutely right. I have to double-bag because even after the lightest use, there are gaping holes in the bottom seam.

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Voting closed 16

volunteer to remove some plastic bags from their local waterway?

I quote the EPA website:

Plastic trash and particles are now found in most marine and terrestrial habitats, including the deep sea, Great Lakes, coral reefs, beaches, rivers, and estuaries.

Anyone want to take a swim in the great Pacific garbage patch of plastic next weekend?

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Voting closed 13

I will often pick up trash floating in the water, and put it in the boat to discard on shore.

I also oppose this tax.

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Voting closed 0

This isn't your Tinder profile. You could give two shits about the environment, given your seemingly nihilistic comments in this forum.

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Voting closed 0

Pfft, that app's for losers. I'm a Bumble guy. I like the ladies who are really trying to get some, not the fakes.

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Voting closed 16

Bumble. Bumble, indeed.

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Voting closed 14

Bumbles bounce!

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Voting closed 12

Good! I'm tired of see these things ending up in trees and sewer grates, where they end up in waterways. Now if only the state legislature banned plastic-bottled water, and if failing that, mandate a deposit on all plastic bottles of water and juice that end up littering streets and ending up in sewers as well. You can carry a reusable bag, you can carry a reusable water bottle too.

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Voting closed 14

Put a nickel deposit on scratch tickets, I think they are the number one litter item around many parts of the city.

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Voting closed 21

What am I supposed to do now (or a year from now) when I have a turkey carcass to discard, cat litter to dispose, and where do I put wet trash that I pick up around the yard/neighborhood before I get back to my trash barrel ???

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Voting closed 14

unless you're too entitled and expect to have everything handed to you.

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Voting closed 55

Are you being serious? You can buy 100 Market Basket type bags for nothing.

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Voting closed 8

Sure I can buy bags. That is not the issue. What I try to do is REUSE before sending directly from store to trash!

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Voting closed 15

Good for you.

I do too! I also try to limit the number I end up with!

But I still end up with scores.

And most of mine don't end up being reused - there's just not enough alternate use.

I welcome this ban.

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Voting closed 16

Start now. Ask friends, neighbors, strangers for their hordes of bags and bags they're bringing out to the curb. Build up a supply of bags that exist right now, instead of contributing to demand for new ones each time you go to the store.

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Voting closed 17

Bring the trash barrel to you? You really need a plastic bag that will be around for 100s of years because you need a special container to walk something across your house? Seems selfish.

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Voting closed 16

Plastic bags can be reused, but not recycled. Also, it's reduce-reuse-recycle in that order. Reducing is the most impactful step and that's exactly what Boston is doing.

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Voting closed 44

Plastic bags can be reused, but not recycled.

As noted above, many groceries have bins for collecting returned plastic bags. I believe these bins are labeled "Recycle," and can't think of any reason why the bags cannot be reduced to raw material and made into new things.

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Voting closed 14

I'm Ok with this. Most of us, I assume, already use our own bags. I rarely forget mine, but when I do I hate having to carry 25 plastic bags in the house.

Once you start using your own, you'll like it better. Better for packing and carrying. Plus, not eyeing a plastic bag stuck in a tree knowing you'll be looking at that thing till it disintegrates is a good thing.

Plastic bags just aren't practical for groceries anyways.

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Voting closed 16

I'm a big fan of reducing waste, both in terms of what we send to landfills and what ends up as trash in the street. This is a good step. Grocery stores are insane. I got 1 item (a gallon of orange juice) the other day and they put it in 2 bags. And yes, I should have brought my own bag. My usual carrying bag was full. The weekly trip to the store entails the reusables. It's a habit more people should adopt.

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Voting closed 14

You could ask them not to double bag it.

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Voting closed 0

I mean, I had my backpack on my shoulder. She could have asked if I even needed a bag. It’s how they’re trained, I think.

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Voting closed 17

And other things, they are very convenient and I guess I'll drive over the bridge to the Quincy Stop and Shop to do my grocery shopping.

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Voting closed 17

What other freedom-loving jurisdictions surrounding Boston can you still get good, honest, decent plastic bags?

I know Medford...

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Voting closed 19

and shop further from home just to get a plastic bag instead of buying a couple reusable ones and leaving them in your car?

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Voting closed 10

from my house to Newport Ave than it is to Freeport St.

They can pass ordinances as they see fit and I can shop where I like...It's a great country.

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Voting closed 22

and this trend will continue, Quincy won't be far behind. You're sure to find yourself on the wrong side of history on this one.

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Voting closed 16

Don't worry.

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Voting closed 13

So you're happy paying more in gas and time than paying maybe 50 cents for 10 recyclable heavy-duty plastic bags that would support your local supermarket?

Ok.

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Voting closed 16

I'm not either of the above posters, but I for one am more than happy to spend $2 to keep $1 from getting into the hands of or otherwise benefiting the self-important parasites that call themselves government (or anyone their laws are indirectly benefiting). I will absolutely not patronize businesses in cities that pull this shit (or the styrofoam ban, or any other nonsense like this).

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Voting closed 22

Hey, it's a free country. You're free to be totally irrational and as wasteful as you want.

You could even move out of MA and patronize businesses somewhere where their government doesn't give a rat's patootie about you or what you do! Say, Alabama or Mississippi, maybe?

Feel free.

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Voting closed 18

because I have been shopping Newport Ave for years (and I see a ton of people from Southie and Dorchester there also). The City of Quincy are unlike the morons in Boston who want to ban plastic bags. Reusable bags are unhealthy and dirty.

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Voting closed 18

and bring my plastic bags into the City. What's O'Malley going to do? Put a Customs agent at the bottom of the bridge in Neponset? People can't afford to live in Boston and this is the best the City Council can do?

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Voting closed 15

There's already a warrant with your name on it waiting at the new police substation they're building right at the Neponset River bridge.

Jesus, don't worry, they're not going to send in SWAT teams to search your house for bags. All the ordinance means is you won't be able to get them anymore at your Boston local supermarket. Knock yourself out and go shop in Quincy. But why stop there? Roll some coal and barrel all the way down to Hingham, or even the Cape! Trade in your car for a used Hummer so you can really show O'Malley what's what.

This is hardly a new concept even in Boston. Ayanna Pressley mentioned Save-A-Lot in Roxbury. There's a supermarket on River Street on the Hyde Park/Mattapan line that also charges for bags. You know what people do? They bring in their own bags, or boxes. The store's been open for several years now - dogs and cats haven't started sleeping together, the Commonwealth still stands, and the store remains open.

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Voting closed 5

which is probably inevitable. You're going to drive to New Hampshire, right?

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Voting closed 17

Paper bags suck and are inconvenient to use. Dragging canvas bags around is a pain in the ass. Plastic bags have a million re-uses.

Step in the wrong direction.

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Voting closed 12

I have a tiny purse and manage this - just get the packable ones for $0.50 at IKEA. All set.

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Voting closed 26

You can just buy your own thin plastic bags, I don't see the problem?

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Voting closed 9

I love paper bags - always ask for them, use them to hold recyclables in my kitchen, flat bottoms make them stand up, when they're full they go into recycling with the cans inside them - plastic okay to reuse for cat litter and dog poop but size of them usually doesn't work for much else, though seen them used as replacement for packing peanuts when friends send packages.

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Voting closed 44

Paper bags + rain = even more litter on the ground

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Voting closed 11

At least they biodegrade and won't be there in a few months, much less for the next few centuries like a lot of plastic will be.

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Voting closed 14

Washington DC banned free-plastic-bags way back in 2009. If anything, Boston is late to do the same.

Just like when restaurants started to require customers to pack their own leftovers, it's weird at first, but people get used to it pretty quickly.

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Voting closed 24

The entire state of California banned plastic bags and it was the voters who voted it in.

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Voting closed 19

I'd prefer a 5 cent discount for every bag you bring yourself (plastic, paper, or reusable).

I've never let a plastic bag end up in a tree or waterway. I reuse them until they rip or get dirty, then bring them to the bag recycle bin in the store, or put my trash in it (which the city requires). Yet I'm still being punished by this law.

I don't see how I'd get a book or a greeting card home from the store on a rainy day without using a plastic bag. Maybe in places where everyone drives you can fake it with a paper or reusable bag, but if you're on foot or taking transit it will get ruined during your walk home.

I've gotten some amazing quantities of stuff home by bicycle using plastic bags. Paper bags would have torn on the first bump.

Now I'll have to take a large stockpile of bags whenever I go shopping in another town. And the Pacific garbage patch is still there. So what have we accomplished?

To the people saying buy plastic bags yourself and don't expect them for free -- well, it would be nice if stores were allow to sell them to me in the quantities I need. But that's illegal now.

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Voting closed 52

Studies have shown that people are much more likely to change their behavior and bring their own bags if they get a fine for not having them rather than an equal discount for bringing them. Human nature is funny.

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Voting closed 21

Does this effect all vendors, or just grocery stores?

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Voting closed 19

If plastic bags in city recycling are the problem, the correct solution is to slap large "NO PLASTIC BAGS" stickers on everyone's bins.

Banning grocery bags isn't the answer. People still end up with a lot of plastic bags from food packaging.

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Voting closed 15

How would that help solve the pollution and litter problem?

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Voting closed 19

Have you never watched American Beauty, the movie starring the artsy old plastic bag flapping in the breeze?

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Voting closed 17

Cambridge already did this 2 or 3 years ago.

Dogs did not form packs and terrorize the city.

Buildings did not collapse.

The world did not fail to continue turning.

Stores have not gone out of business.

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Voting closed 22

No, your straw-men haven't happened.

But I have to take huge bags of bags home when I come across them in other cities, and keep a huge stockpile in my house.

And I haven't seen any proof of benefits from this ban.

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Voting closed 40

And I haven't seen any proof of benefits from this ban.

How hard have you looked, honestly?

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Voting closed 15

I am really happy this passed!

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Voting closed 16

it would not pass.

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Voting closed 0

I guarntee you if people voted on it, it would not pass.

But we did vote on it.

We voted on it by electing city council members. The city council members' votes on this were consistent with the positions they put forth during their campaigns or during their previous terms.

There are a number of good reasons we have an elected government rather than government by plebiscite.

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Voting closed 13

(Just an aside issue, but,.... I re-use every plastic bag to pick up after my dog. I'm curious how this will impact conscientious dog owners who clean up after their dogs. Will there be some option for cleaning up...? Scoopers and then placing the debris openly in public trash receptacles ? City-Supplied poop bags? Reusable poop bags? Recycled paper bags? Oh, hell, why bother about it all, why not just leave it on the sidewalk like every one else.)

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Voting closed 20

I'm just spitballing here, but maybe people could, oh I don't know, buy a dozen rolls of dog poop bags for a buck? They even make biodegradable ones. Who knew?

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Voting closed 17

Silly me.
I thought the intent of the City of Boston prohibition was against plastic refuse and plastic bags in general. Now, it seems you're suggesting that the City is really targeting only those from grocery stores.

(And, re: biodegradable poop bags, .... let me know where I can get them... Order on line? "Please hold my dog's leash while I search for cash I don't have and join another corporate scheme to defraud environmental conscious dog owners. (Biodegradabel?! LOL Show me the land-fills where these will be deposited....)

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Voting closed 17

You're evidently not aware of this, but they even sell these newfangled leashes with a container to hold poop bags. Pretty much every city dog owner I know has one. Check it out, this could change your life!

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Voting closed 23

as long as they don't take it to absurd ends, like Cambridge did -- am I really supposed to bring my own bag to a coffee shop if I want a muffin to go?

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Voting closed 14

why not? It's a habit shift...

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Voting closed 18

I guess I just don't see it as that absurd for customers to provide their own packaging. It really won't harm you.

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Voting closed 49

The bags aren't free - stores charge the customer through product pricing for the bags you get for 'free'.

I know there are many people who also rely on them to reuse for household purposes (cat litter/bathroom trash bags, etc.). Maybe if we all have pay for this resource perhaps it will lead to more creative ways of disposing waste (and I'm not talking about dumping it by the side of the highway). Composting, for example. The city has municipal compost bins at various points across the city (Project Oscar). If you have access to a yard your an also compost your pet waste. I know this is wishful thinking - but you never know.

Also - paper bags - while they come from a reusable resource - are much heavier and we then have to use more gas to ship them.

And to another point - I'm continually amazed by how people constantly put plastic bags in the recycling....It seems like a vast majority don't know what goes in the blue bin...I blame the classic recycle symbol (three arrows in a triangle) with the number in the middle - which does not mean something is recyclable - but identifies the item as plastic. The #6 (styrofoam), for example, isn't recyclable but many people believe it is so because of the symbol.

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Voting closed 42

The #6 (styrofoam), for example, isn't recyclable but many people believe it is so because of the symbol.

Styrofoam could be recycled. It's chemically identical to the hard styrene plastic that the recycling companies do accept. They don't want to deal with the foam plastic because it takes up more room in their trucks. Cities and towns go along with the prohibition because the stuff blows out of bins and trucks and makes a mess.

The recycling companies created the myth by saying "The recycling symbol doesn't mean an item is recyclable." Actually, that is what it means. That they choose not to accept something does not mean it could never be reconstituted to raw material and reused. They are just shifting the burden of styrofoam into the waste stream.

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Voting closed 22

well - if it isn't recyclable in the city's municipal program - then whether it can be recycled or not doesn't quite matter because it won't be. You can use programs like Terracycle to recycle hard to recycle items - but it's often cost prohibitive...even for an environmental nut like me.

The symbol is a part of any plastic product - I meant that people think when they see the triangle they can put it in the blue bin - unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. I think that's one of the big issues with why plastic bags are constantly put in the bins...

Someone's point of putting a sticker on the bins that says no plastic bags is a good one...

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Voting closed 11

Recycling companies are imposing their decision to not accept plastic bags and styrofoam on the municipalities they serve. This is strictly a profit-motivated choice. They could accept bags and foam, and if it becomes more profitable, they will leap to do so. In the meantime, these things go into the waste stream and are destroyed, released, or buried, providing no benefit to anyone, making waste disposal more costly, and fouling the environment.

It matters.

WRT bags, there apparently IS a recycling program for them, but the curbside pickup outfits don't want to be part of it.

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Voting closed 0

You're not supposed to put dog poop into compost.

And you can't compost most of the stuff I throw in my bathroom trash.

The symbol is supposed to mean something is recyclable. But bag/styrofoam manufacturers and individual city recycling programs don't agree on what's acceptable.

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Voting closed 18

This is one step in the right direction, but if the Council really has the guts to do something, they should take on styrofoam next - all the Dunkin Donuts cups and takeout containers, which are not biodegradable and take up a ton of space in trash.

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Voting closed 16

Lowering our property taxes?

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Voting closed 13

How about doing something about all the orange cones and broken chairs that litter Boston streets between December and April?

Losers.

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Voting closed 23

Something to think about . . .

https://fighttheplasticbagban.files.wordpress.com/...

From here:
https://fighttheplasticbagban.com

Updated: Changed the subject line for people who could not see beyond the example to consider the larger question.

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Voting closed 16

When you grab a bag for your kid’s apples, grab an extra one for the chicken. If you shop at the West Roxbury Roche Brothers, the produce is close to the meats. We do it all the time.

Of course, if the meat department does a good job wrapping the meat, no juice will come out.

Somehow Ireland has handled this for a decade without everyone dying.

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Voting closed 20

I've been in have a roll of the produce bags over the raw meat refrigerators.

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Voting closed 52

When you get home, don't wipe your ass with your reusable bags.

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Voting closed 19

99 comments and a bag ain't one.

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Voting closed 44