Development of Bylaw to End the Use of Plastic Shopping Bags in Needham

Objective:   Create a citizens’ petition that would end the use of plastic shopping bags in Needham. It would be included as an article in the May 2023 Town Meeting Warrant and voted on (and hopefully approved) by Town Meeting Members. The bylaw is being developed according to this schedule:

Timeframe Action Item Status
September – October 2022 Draft the bylaw and look to incorporate language from plastic bag bans passed in other towns and cities similar or adjacent to Needham. Completed
October 2022 – January 2023 Review bylaw with relevant town officials and incorporate necessary feedback. Completed
January 2023 Complete draft of bylaw and obtain the 10 signatures needed to be included on the Town Meeting Warrant as a citizens’ petition. Completed
Early February 2023 Submit to the Select Board to be included as an article in the Town Meeting Warrant. Completed
February 2023 Discuss the citizens’ petition with the Select Board. Completed
Early April 2023 Meet with Finance Committee.
April 12, 2023 Public Hearing on bylaw article at Select Board meeting.
April 2023 Inform and educate Town Meeting Members about the plastic bag bylaw article.
May 2023 Town Meeting takes place in May when Town Meeting Members will vote on the articles in the Warrant, including the plastic shopping bag citizens’ petition.




Example of plastic bags contaminating the Commingled Recycling bin at the Needham RTS.  Plastic bags create problems at the recycling facility, as they jam the machines and cause delays.  The workers are forced to stop the machines to untangle the plastic bags from the equipment.