By Carol Meyer
Be prepared! The long-anticipated single-use plastic bag ban will go into effect Nov. 1 in Hingham, joining nearly 100 other Massachusetts cities and towns that already have similar bans in place.
The ban relates to the thin plastic bags available at grocery stores and pharmacies but newspaper or dry cleaning bags.
The main message of the Hingham Cleaner Greener Committee is that while plastic bags are “convenient, recyclable, and part of everyday life,” only seven percent of them get recycled while the rest take many years to break down, resulting in what the committee calls "plastic bag pollution."
The committee recently handed out "Hey Hingham/Remember to bring your own bags!" reminder stickers to local businesses.
The Hingham Health Department will enforce the new regulation, with stores that are not complying subject to penalties that progress from a written warning to fines that escalate each day the violation continues.
"The Health Department worked with retailers on what product and checkout bags will be acceptable to offer customers," said Executive Health Officer Susan Sarni.
What do you think about this ban? Are you already well-stocked with reusable bags?