Regional plastic bag ban may become statewide

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Stores and restaurants in Massachusetts would be barred from giving customers single-use plastic bags under a bill passed by state legislature.

Northampton banned the use of plastic bags in 2015 and now lawmakers are looking to do the same statewide.

Supporters of plastic-bag bans argue the products contribute to pollution and fill up landfills, while opponents contend consumers like to have a choice and the single-use plastic bags are in fact used for a variety of other purposes.

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One Northampton business owner told 22News using paper bags have had a positive impact on his business.

“A lot of people are opting out of bags completely now and bringing their own bags so thats been a huge cost saver and that’s even better,” said Kudrat Patel of Northampton Liquors, Beer and Wine.

The Senate previously passed a plastic bag ban, but the policy has never cleared the House.

Under the legislation, stores would be barred from providing a single-use plastic bag starting Aug. 1, 2019.