Plastic Bag Ban in Boston

The other day, I was walking home with a friend when suddenly she stopped and grabbed my arm “Look, its an owl in the tree!” she exclaimed! Upon closer inspection, our owl was really a white plastic bag perched in the branches. Unfortunately, this experience is not a novel one; every day, we walk past plastic litter in the streets and without thinking twice about it, but the City of Boston has decided to do something about this. This past December, Boston became the 60th community in Massachusetts to introduce a “ban” on plastic bags. The “ban” that will go into effect December of 2018, but it isn’t exactly a ban. Consumers will still be able to use plastic bags in the city, but there will be a 5 cent charge for each bag used. This ban is essentially a tax on plastic bags, incentivizing consumers to bring their own bags while shopping in Boston.

There is strong evidence that these plastic bag bans are extremely effective at reducing the amount of plastic waste in the environment. According to Scientific American, the plastic bag tax which was implemented in Ireland in 2002 has to lead to 95% reduction in plastic bag litter in the Irish environment. In San Jose, a plastic bag ban has reduced the amount of plastic bags found in storm drains by 90%.

Only time will tell how effective the ban will we at reducing plastic waste in Boston, but there are simple actions that consumers can do to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the environment. The easiest way to reduce your plastic consumption is to bring reusable bags whenever you go shopping!

For more tips on reducing your waste while shopping checks out some tips from Bea Johnson!

1 Comment

  1. this is really a good development. Ban on plastic bags will go a long way in making the entirely city look good and neat all the time

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