Why ban plastic bags?

(Thanks to the ban the bag campaign for this writeup.)

WHY should you support a single use plastic bag ban in Boston?

  • 41 cities and towns across the state have adopted some form of banning plastic bags and Boston would be a tipping point for the state to adopt a statewide single use plastic bag ban

  • 95% percent of plastic bags are not recycled!

  • Plastic bags litter our communities, waters, and properties, just look around.

  • Many major cities in the US have also adopted ordinances and continue to thrive with a huge reduction in waste and decrease in money spent on dealing with the waste

Can I just stop here and say these should be reason enough? However there are tons more including…

  • The City of Boston deals with 20 tons of plastic bags per month that are disposed of improperly in Boston’s single stream recycling.

  • There are many ways to support low-income families with this ordinance, including bag drives.

  • Low-income areas are often hit the hardest with the plague of plastic bags littered everywhere.

  • Many farmer’s markets have stopped using plastic bags as the state moves to regulate a plastic bag ban at farmers markets and it has not stopped people from shopping at them; at farmers markets, you find community, amazing small businesses, and incredibly fresh produce.

  • Many plastic bags are used for minutes, but last 1000 years!

  • ExxonMobil was responsible for introducing the plastic shopping bag to the U.S., and the bag debuted in American grocery store checkout lines by the late 1970-80’s. That means that people were shopping at stores for centuries purchasing, buying, and trading without the plastic bag.

  • Healthier Habits; Boston aims to be zero waste  according to its Climate Action Plan.

  • There are Plastic Bag Bans in all over the world including entire countries, like Australia, Bangladesh, South Africa, Tanzania, Rwanda, Phillipines, Pakistan, Ireland, Mali, Ivory Coast, Italy, India, Haiti, China, and others and they do not inhibit purchasing local.

  • In 2007, SF was the first city to ban plastic bags in the US;  people and stores are still thriving.


Below is a list of what to do. Right now people whose job it is to push back on the ordinance are pushing hard. Last week they started making lots of calls to the City Councilors saying not to support the ban. City Councilors-At-Large are voting and they NEED to hear from you.

TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO HELP: in order from most impactful to least

  1. Calling your City Councilor, the three Councilors-At-Large and significantly, the Mayor has the greatest impact

  2. Writing a letter to the above mentioned

  3. Emailing: we know this is the most convenient, but if you are to do anything, CALL! Write too, if you have it in you.



They need to hear from us, as residents, business owners, and community members that policy matters; they can make a difference to the entire city with less waste.

Find your District City Councilor here:

Mayor Walsh: 617.635.4500

Michael Flaherty (At-Large): 617-635-4205
Annissa Essaibi-George (At-Large): 617-635-4376
Ayanna Pressley (At-Large): 617-635-4217

Sal LaMattina (District 1): 617-635-3200
Bill Linehan (District 2): 617-635-3203
Frank Baker (District 3): 617-635-3455
Andrea Campbell (District 4): 617-635-3131
Tim McCarthy (District 5): 617-635-4210
Tito Jackson (District 7): 617-635-3510
Josh Zakim (District 8): 617-635-4225
Mark Ciommo (District 9): 617-635-3113

Councilors O’Malley and Wu’s public hearing regarding the reduction of plastic bags will take place on Tuesday, December 13th at 1 pm in the Iannella Chamber on the fifth floor of Boston City Hall.

The hearing is open to the public to attend and testify. Any written comments may be made part of the record and available to all Councilors by sending them by email, fax, or mail to arrive prior to the hearing.