By: Kathy Raiz and Robert Fernandez
With Needham’s 2023 Spring Town Meeting underway this week, proponents and supporters of Article 39, ending single-use plastic bags in our town, are optimistic that members will deliver environmental protection to our community. For years now proponents, Town officials, and relevant stakeholders have worked together to craft the proper language and enforcement mechanisms for this comprehensive bylaw, which has an expected $0 enforcement cost.
Needham’s plastic bag ban bylaw is narrowly tailored to single-use plastic checkout bags only, as we have readily available, environmentally friendly, low-cost alternatives in reusable shopping bags. Smaller stores are afforded an additional 6-month grace period for adherence. Proponents feel this bylaw is a great first step in reducing single-use plastics for Needham, our children, and our planet. Article here (p. 67), background here, PSA video here, and FAQs specific to Article 39 here.
Needham is uniting around this worthy cause. This is a great case where we have elected officials, (including a unanimous vote from the Needham Select Board) local/state/national non-profit groups, and the business community all supporting Article 39. Today is your chance to do your part by letting your Town Meeting members know they should vote in support of this Article. Look up your precinct here and email your Town Meeting members here.
For additional information, please visit the Green Needham Plastic Waste Reduction website.
Needham’s neighboring towns have similar bylaws regulating plastic bags. Passage will have Needham joining the world:
- 127 countries have passed legislation regulating plastic bags
- 9 states have full plastic bag bans
- 24 states already have local bag ordinances including 154 Massachusetts communities like Brookline, Dedham, Framingham, Newton, Waltham, Watertown, and Wellesley