UPDATE: In this morning’s email, I noted that in an order released Friday
the state’s Commissioner of Public Health Monica Bharel rescinded orders, effective immediately, that her office released on March 25 and April
7 related to grocery stores and pharmacies.
What does that mean for your business? It means that even though Bharel rescinded orders banning salad bars, senior hours and other rules last week,
those same rules are in place under the state's June 8 rules.
And what are the three items that Bharel rescinded that are now no longer regulated?
- No. 6. Banning BYO reusable shopping bags
- No. 7. Overriding any local ordinance that bans plastic bags.
- No. 8 Banning charging a bag fee
The above items are no long in effect, as of last Friday July 10.
The Retailers Association of Massachusetts had lobbied for a grace period to give retailers a chance to use up their stock of existing plastic bags,
or a chance to stock back up on paper bags. But that didn’t happen.
So technically, stores in Newton, Watertown, Wellesely, Brookline and other municipalities where bag bans existed prior to March 25 should not be using
plastic bags and should be charging fees today.
It’s now up to the 139 cities and towns in Massachusetts with bans on single-shopping bags to independently decide how to interpret this change.
We’ve heard from Mayor Fuller’s office that her department is working on a response.
Apologies for the confusion. But it is confusing.