As you may know, at the May 2018 Town Meeting, a by-law that bans the distribution of single use plastic bagsin Longmeadow was approved. The by-law was subsequently approved by the Attorney General and will go intoeffect on August 6, 2019.
Once the by-law is in full effect, businesses in Longmeadow will no longer be able stock plastic bags withhandles, commonly known as “checkout bags.” They will only be allowed to give customers reusable bags,recyclable paper bags, or compostable bags with handles, which are generally discouraged until a viable, townwide composting program is in place. The ban does not include bags for newspapers, used to wrap produce,frozen food, meat or fish, for laundry/dry-cleaning, and trash can liners. Enforcement will be done by the HealthDepartment, which will conduct bi-annual inspections on the same schedule as food safety inspections or when acomplaint has been received. Violations will include a warning for the first, a $25 fine for the second, and a $50for any subsequent ones.
Businesses may apply for an exemption by submitting a request for a waiver of up to six months to achievecompliance because of undue economic hardship. Businesses are strongly encouraged to search forenvironmentally friendly bags without handles well in advance of the effective date but should not throw away theexisting inventory. For example, non-customized plastic bags that are subject to this bylaw could be provided tobusinesses in other communities that have not yet enacted bans