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Massachusetts moves closer to statewide plastic bag ban after Senate passes bill

Massachusetts is one step closer to banning single-use plastic bags statewide after the state Senate passed a bill Wednesday evening.

The bill would bar stores from using single-use plastic bags at checkout and make them charge 10 cents per recycled paper bag. Half of that fee would go to ban enforcement and recycling efforts, and the rest would go to the store.

The ban would make exceptions for specific products “where plastic serves an enhanced purpose,” according to a release from Senate President Karen Spilka’s office. Those exceptions would include products considered likely to leak or produce that needs wrapped up to stay fresh.

Small stores would also be given extra time to comply with the ban, and customers paying with EBT cards would not have to pay for paper bags.

The bill will now move on to the state’s House of Representatives. If passed there, it would head to the governor’s desk.

In an October episode of WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show,” Gov. Charlie Baker tentatively opposed a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. He said he prefers to see communities make their own decisions.

“People are handling this in a variety of different ways, and I think I’m inclined to let that be the way this works,” he said.


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