Senate version of state budget includes statewide ban on plastic bags

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A statewide ban on plastic bags might not be far away. As the commonwealth approaches the end of the 2016 fiscal year in July, Massachusetts is looking toward working out its budget for next year.

The senate, the house, and the governor have their own versions of the new budget and a final version will be hammered out after debate. But right now, the senate’s version of the budget includes a statewide ban on plastic bags.

Earlier this month, the senate passed a bill banning plastic bags at farmers markets across the state. Up until now, bans on plastic bags, like the one in Northampton, have been going into effect town by town. This budget bill would cover the whole state and allow stores to sell reusable grocery bags or recycled paper bags for at least 10 cents.

Florence resident Janice Hanley told 22News that she approves of the ban on plastic bags. “Plastic bags are very bad for the environment. I live near one of the landfills. They blow into the trees. They clog up the rivers. They don’t disintegrate.”

Around 20 cities and towns have implemented their own plastic bag bans. Amherst and Easthampton are considering their own bans.

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