Latest Update (11/29): By a 12-0 vote, the Boston City Council has approved a ban on single-use plastic checkout bags! This ordinance must now be signed by Mayor Marty Walsh in order to become law. You can send him a message asking for his support as part of this final push!

59 cities and towns across Massachusetts have already approved some form of local restriction on plastic bags. It’s time to add Boston, our capital and largest city, to that list!

The Boston City Council is currently considering an ordinance (Docket #0132, Ordinance Regarding the Reduction of Plastic Bags in Boston) proposed by sponsors Councilors Matt O’Malley and Michelle Wu to reduce plastic bag pollution in the City.

The proposed ordinance would prohibit the distribution of single-use plastic checkout bags (of less than 3 mils thickness), while instituting a 5-cent fee on reusable bags.

Especially if you live or work in Boston, an effective way to help this ordinance pass is to send a personal message to the mayor and city council saying that you support this measure and that they should vote in favor. It is also helpful to include your full name and mailing address to verify your relationship to Boston!

As late as Monday 11/27, some members of the city council, including Mayor Walsh, are reportedly still considering how to vote on this ordinance. Your support can make a difference!

Note: If you’re having trouble with the link, you can just copy and paste the following list of e-mail addresses into your favorite mail program:
mayor@boston.gov, frank.baker@boston.gov, Andrea.Campbell@boston.gov, Mark.Ciommo@boston.gov, tito.jackson@boston.gov, Salvatore.LaMattina@boston.gov, Timothy.McCarthy@boston.gov, matthew.omalley@boston.gov, Josh.Zakim@boston.gov, A.E.George@boston.gov, Michael.F.Flaherty@boston.gov, Ayanna.Pressley@boston.gov, Michelle.Wu@boston.gov, david.sweeney@boston.gov, massachusetts@surfrider.org, mgates@surfrider.org

Not sure what to write? Even a simple message saying who you are, where you live, and “Please vote yes on the Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance” can make a big difference. If you want to go even further, here are a few ideas on what you could write about:

  • How has plastic litter affected you, your family, and your community?
  • What do you think about the fact that plastic bags are made from fossil fuels?
  • What alternatives to single-use plastic bags do you use and why?
  • What do you think about the financial costs of plastic bags, which include damage to City recycling equipment and sewage systems?
  • How do you use and enjoy our natural environment? What makes you want to protect it?
  • How do you want Boston to be seen nationally and globally on these type of issues?

If you want to reach out to your own district councilor, the at-large councilors, or the mayor personally, contact details are included below. You can look up your City Council district here:

District City Councilors
At-Large City Councilors
Mayor Marty Walsh

Call 311 in Boston and/or email: mayor@boston.gov and copy his Chief of Staff on your email: david.sweeney@boston.gov.


To find our more, or to learn how you can help, please get in touch with our Chapter Vice-Chair and also check out our campaign in support of banning single-use plastic carryout bags statewide.

Want to learn more about the problem with single-use plastics, including plastic bags? Check out the information here!