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In December 2013, the Ordinance Committee of the Cambridge City Council approved a draft ordinance that would require that all bags provided to customers at checkout by retail establishments by recyclable paper bags or reusable bags. Final enactment of the draft ordinance requires a vote by the City Council.The enactment of the draft ordinance in some form is likely to occur in 2014 keeping Cambridge in line with neighboring communities where bans are either in place or are scheduled be implemented in the current year. Brookline’s ban on disposable plastic bags and polystyrene containers went into effect on December 1, 2013 and Somerville’s ban on polystyrene containers goes into effect in May of this year. In addition, Somerville is also considering a ban on disposable plastic bags.

Keeping in mind that a ban on disposable plastic bags is likely to be enacted in some form this year by the Cambridge City Council, we encourage you to:

  • Contact the Cambridge City Council if you feel strongly to voice your opposition to or support for a ban on disposable plastic bags.
  • Consider your current use of disposable plastic bags and research alternatives so that you can be aware of alternatives to disposable plastic bags and the potential impacts they may have on your business.
  • Consider educating your customers about the need to use more reusable bags in place of plastic bags with an emphasis on the need to clean bags after each use to protect against transmission of contagions.
  • Let Cambridge Local First know about your concerns about the draft ordinance and ways in which we may be able to assist either with information, training or coordination with Cambridge City officials.

Working together, we can keep Cambridge’s local economy strong.

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