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How to File for Temporary Exemption From the Plastic Bag Ordinance

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You can file for a temporary exemption if you qualify for an undue hardship. Read below to see if you qualify, and how to apply.


Check to see if you qualify for an undue hardship

Your business only qualifies for an exemption if: 

  • 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 need more time to use up your existing stock of plastic bags before switching to compliant paper and compostable bags.

Do you plan to file for an exemption because of excess inventory? You'll need to file monthly reports on inventory reduction and remaining stock to Inspectional Services.


Fill out the exemption form, with supporting documents

You need to complete an exemption form. Make sure to explain clearly why you feel like you qualify for an exemption for undue hardship. Please also remember to attach documents that support your claim.

Download exemption form


Send your exemption form to Inspectional Services

You can submit your exemption form via email or the postal service.

Email a scanned copy of your exemption form to Assistant Commissioner of Weights and Measures, Elaine Grillo, at or mail your exemption form and supporting documents to:

Inspectional Services

1010 Mass. Ave.

5th Floor, Weights and Measures Division

Boston, MA  02118
  • Need to Know:

    Exemptions are only TEMPORARY.

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