Plastic Bag Law

Last fall, the Salem City Council passed a Plastic Bag Ordinance that restricts the use of single use plastic bags by all retail and food establishments in the City of Salem. With this action, Salem joins 42 cities and towns in Massachusetts, including the nearby communities of Marblehead, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Hamilton, and Ipswich in restricting the use of
plastic shopping bags.

SalemRecycles is currently working on addressing frequently asked questions for businesses and residents to help simplify the transition and provide critical information. These FAQs will be available summer 2017.

The Ordinance will go into effect January 2018.

Learn how to make your own reusable bags.

Salem Arts Festival: DIY T-shirt To Tote maker table

SalemRecycles will have a DIY Turn a T-shirt to Tote bag (no sew) Maker table at this year’s Salem Arts Festival on June 3rd & 4th. We are collecting clean old or used T-shirts for the event and folks can also bring their own T-shirts and we’ll show you several ways to transform them into reusable tote bags for your shopping needs.

Some shopping bag myths debunked.

Plastic bags are better than paper bags.

No. This claim comes from a misunderstanding of life cycle analyses that do
not take into account the larger effects of plastic, including manufacturing and disposal. Using reusable bags is a better choice than either plastic or paper bags.

Bag laws hurt local businesses.

No. It is true that paper bags are more expensive than plastic for businesses. But multiple studies have shown that once a bag law is in place, consumers become more conscientious, and bring reusable bags, which ultimately save businesses money. No one has ever gone out of business because of a bag law.

Bag laws hurt the poor.

No. In fact, disadvantaged communities suffer disproportionately from environmental
degradation. Decreasing the amount of resources spent on solid waste frees municipal funds for much needed social programs.