The City Council has unanimously approved an ordinance requiring Newton businesses to charge customers 10 cents for every paper bag the store provides at checkout. Larger stores, those over 3,500 square feet, will be required to implement the fee in six months. Smaller stores will have a year to prepare. The goal of the ordinance — which follows the 2015 initiative targeting single-use check-out bags — is to reduce the amount of waste we generate in Newton and to increase the use of reusable bags. The Council took the extra step of defining a “reusable bag” to clarify that extra-thick plastic bags, such as those provided by some businesses, do not qualify as reusable. Many studies have demonstrated that a small fee on check-out bags is effective in encouraging shoppers to bring and use their own reusable bags. The fee, which businesses will keep to defray the cost of paper bags, is not intended to be punitive.
The Newton Tab’s recent article on the 10 cent paper bag fee is informative
This information came from Councilor Noel’s July 12th Newsletter