Plastic bag ban approved in South Hadley

Ordinance passed by large margin at town meeting

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – South Hadley residents voted at their annual town meeting Wednesday night to ban the distribution of single-use plastic bags.

Starting January 1 of next year, businesses in town will no longer be able to distribute the bags. Town Manager Michael Sullivan told 22News that the ordinance was approved by a wide margin.

Sullivan said that it was the longest-discussed topic, at 45 minutes.

Beginning in the new year, stores will only be allowed to use paper or re-useable bags. The goal is to reduce waste and protect waterways.

“It’ll be good for South Hadley to go forward with it, and it shows that they are thoughtful about these things, and are careful about how they make decisions,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said that businesses who don’t follow the rules would be fined $100 by the board of health for the first offense. A second offense would cost $200.

He said that the town has not received a lot of push-back from business owners who are against banning single-use plastic bags.

South Hadley is the 53rd community in the Commonwealth to approve such a ban.