COVID-19 updates for the ordinance
On March 24, Mayor Walsh put in place a temporary executive order that exempts all establishments from the bag ordinance. The order will stay in place until September 30, 2020, assuming no major change in information or circumstances.
On October 1, all provisions of the ordinance will come back into effect.
You can learn more about what the extension of the temporary executive order means for you in our table.
|Milestone||Temporary Executive Order
(through September 30)
(Beginning October 1)
|Fee collection: 5 cents or more||Not required||Required|
|Supply compliant bags:
reusable, recyclable, compostable
|Supply single-use plastic bags||Not required||Prohibited|
|Customers using reusable bags||Allowed||Allowed|
Basics of the Plastic Bag Ordinance
- Stores can only give reusable bags, recyclable paper bags, or compostable checkout bags to customers.
- Boston retailers can no longer stock single-use plastic bags with handles.
- Retailers have to sell any bag with handles for at least 5 cents per bag. The retailer keeps the charge.
We've also translated the basics of how to be compliant with the bag ordinance into eight languages:
Download register signs
FEE CHARGE SIGN
The bag ordinance policy requires a sign posted within five feet of the checkout location, telling customers that they'll have to pay for a bag if they want one. You can download signs in eight different languages.
How to apply for an exemption
Your business can file for a temporary exemption if you qualify for an undue hardship. Follow the link below to see if you qualify, and how to apply:
- You feel like there are no reasonable alternatives to plastic bags that your business could use and provide to customers.
- Compliance with the ordinance would deprive you of a legally protected right.
- You cannot use up all of your existing inventory of plastic bags before December 14. You need more time to get rid of your plastic bags before switching to compliant paper and compostable bags.