Massachusetts

Ban the bag, Tyngsborough!

Victory | May 15 2018

Plastic Pollution

The Massachusetts Chapter supported a campaign to help Tyngsborough, MA ban single-use plastic checkout bags.

In an effort to help build a strong case for support for the statewide legislation to ban plastic bags in Massachusetts, the MA chapter worked with local activists to help Tyngsborough pass a bag ban. Read the proposed bylaw here, and check out the chapter's letter, here.

A favorable decision was won on May 15, 2018.

This is a great step in the right direction, but is not the strongest ordinance, as it counts single-use plastic bags that are 1.5 ml thick as reusable, and does not address paper bags or thicker single-use plastic bags, or employ the known working mechanism of a fee to incentivize the use of reusable bags. As data shows, specifying even a thickness of 4 ml does not work to properly incentivize reusable bags, as the 4 ml bags were found intact in landfill and recycling facilities in in Austin, Texas, after that city added the thickness specification to its bylaw in the hopes of closing the loophole that allowed for the thicker bags to be given out for free, and resulted in them still being used in a single-use fashion, thereby contravening the intents of the law.

Please email the MA Chapter's volunteer campaign coordinator for more information or to connect with the local Tyngsborough activists who led this campaign.

Another important way to support our work is to join or renew your Surfrider Foundation membership, and come get active with our chapter! Email our chair for information on monthly meetings and other ways to engage.

Plastic Pollution

Rise Above Plastics is designed to eliminate the impacts of plastics in the marine environment by raising awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and by advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics and the recycling of all plastics.

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