On November 29, 2017, the Boston City Council unanimously voted in favor of An Ordinance Regarding the Reduction of Plastic Bags in Boston (Docket #0132) proposed by sponsors Councilors Matt O’Malley and Michelle Wu to reduce plastic bag pollution in the City.

This is a huge step towards making Boston the 60th and largest community in Massachusetts to place restrictions on single-use plastic bags. We are deeply grateful to the city councilors and to all of the individuals and organizations who have helped Boston get to this point.

However, the effort is not over! To become law, the measure must now be signed by the Mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh. You can help with the final push by sending him a message and asking him to sign this bill. As of December 14th, an aide reported that the Mayor was still reviewing the ordinance and had not made a final decision. You can help make the difference!

In any message you send, it is helpful to include your full name and mailing address to confirm your status as a local resident with ties to Boston.

Alternatively, you can call 311 in Boston or paste the email addresses into your favorite e-mail program:
mayor@boston.gov, david.sweeney@boston.gov, mgates@surfrider.org, massachusetts@surfrider.org

The vote was 12-0 in favor, with one absence. However, the absent councilor did prepare a written statement in support of the measure that was read into the record. Three other councilors also spoke in support at the Council meeting.

The ordinance prohibits the distribution of single-use plastic checkout bags (of less than 0.003 in thickness), while instituting a 5-cent fee on reusable bags. With the mayor’s signature, it will become active within one year.


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!