In the fall of 2016, 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 over 70 cities and towns in Massachusetts, including the nearby communities of Marblehead, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Hamilton, and Ipswich in restricting the use of plastic shopping bags. The Ordinance went into effect January 2018.
Overview of the Ordinance
The ordinance restricts the use of single use plastic bags by all retail and food establishments in the City of Salem. This will affect any commercial establishment, whether for profit or nonprofit, any and all food vendors and retail stores. The ordinance seeks to promote the use of reusable checkout bags by retail establishments located in Salem as well as to reduce the number of single use plastic bags that are being used, discarded and littered on our streets.
During 2017, SalemRecycles volunteers helped city residents and businesses prepare for the 2018 bag ban. A letter outlining details of the ordinance was sent to each business in Salem. Volunteers were present at community events such as the Salem Arts Festival and Farmers’ Market and canvassed many businesses, large and small, in order to answer vendor and customer questions. At our recycling events, we’ve either swapped reusable bags or handed out free homemade bags to participants.
Some plastic bag myths debunked.
Plastic bags are better than paper bags.
Bag laws hurt local businesses.
Bag laws hurt the poor.
Learn how to make your own reusable bags.
DIY T-shirt to Reusable Tote
One of our participants with her new fringe-on-the-bottom T-bag!