May 28, 2020 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) along with dozens of environmental organizations, grassroots groups, and businesses are calling on Massachusetts officials to end the Commonwealth’s suspension of reusable shopping bags at grocery stores and resume enforcement of the bottle bill. The suspension and lifting of enforcement were enacted amid the height of the COVID-19 surge, and with businesses slowly beginning to reopen, they should be set aside.
“Public health must always be the primary concern,” said Kirstie Pecci, Director of the Zero Waste Project at CLF. “However, the scientific community has made it clear that the risk of transmitting the virus by touching a bag or bottle is almost nonexistent. Allowing reusable bags and resuming bottle deposits will keep tons of plastic out of landfills or incinerators and stop it from further polluting our land and air.”
The letter to the Massachusetts Departments of Environmental Protection and Public Health requests that the agencies lift the suspension of local plastic bag bans, allow customers to bag their own groceries in reusable bags, and enforce recycling programs, including the deposit return program.
CLF experts are available for further comment.