Amherst stores, shoppers ready for plastic bag ban

Ban goes into effect on January 1

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Don Heffernan packs his groceries at the Amherst Big Y supermarket in the now-recommended reusable bags. He has been doing so for years, to meet his concerns about protecting the environment.

According to a new town bylaw, single-use plastic bags will no longer be allowed to be distributed by stores and restaurants. Big Y store director Doug George is ready for the changeover.

“We get started this week, were switching to paper, going to use up all the plastic. We’ll be in compliance by the beginning of the year,” George said.

The store sells reusable cloth bags that customers are encouraged to buy and keep using.

“Bring your own bags, save a lot; don’t have to use so much plastic,” Rick Harris of Amherst said.

It was exactly one year ago when nearby Northampton enacted the ban on plastic bags. Amherst’s ban goes into effect on Saturday, January 1.