SECTION 1. Chapter 21, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 21N the following chapter:-
Section 1. As used in this chapter, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-
“Commissioner”, the commissioner of the department of environmental protection.
“Compostable plastic carryout bag”, a plastic carryout bag which conforms to the current ASTM-Standard Specifications for compostability and is certified and labeled as meeting ASTM-Standard by a recognized verification entity such as the Biodegradable Product Institute.
“Disposable carryout bag”, a bag of any material, commonly plastic or kraft paper, which is provided to a consumer at the point of sale to carry purchases. The term, “disposable carryout bag” shall not include:
(a) Bags used by consumers inside stores to:
(i) Package bulk items, such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, candy or small hardware items;
(ii) Contain or wrap frozen foods, meat, or fish, whether prepackaged or not;
(iii) Contain or wrap flowers, potted plants, or other items where dampness may be a problem; and
(iv) Contain unwrapped prepared foods or bakery goods;
(b) Bags provided by pharmacists to contain prescription drugs;
(c) Newspaper bags, door-hanger bags, laundry dry-cleaning bags, or bags sold in packages containing multiple bags intended for use as garbage, pet waste, or yard waste bags.
“Department”, the department of environmental protection.
“Reusable bag”, a bag with handles that is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse and is either made of cloth or other machine washable fabric and/or made of durable plastic that is at least 2.25 mils thick.
“Store”, a retail establishment that meets either of the following requirements: (1) is a full-line, self-service supermarket that grossed in excess of $1,000,000 during the previous tax year, and which sells a line of dry grocery, canned goods or nonfood items and some perishable items; or (2) is a retail pharmacy with at least five (5) locations under the same ownership within the Commonwealth.
Section 2. (a) If a store provides disposable carryout bags to customers, the bags must only be compostable plastic bags.
(b) Nothing in this section shall be read to preclude any store from making reusable bags available for sale to customers.
(c) The enforcement and penalty provisions of section 16 of chapter 21A shall apply to this chapter.
(d) The commissioner shall promulgate rules and regulations to implement this section.
Section 3. All of the requirements set forth in this act shall take effect 24 months after its effective date.
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.