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Newton’s Updated Bag and Polystyrene Ordinances Takes Effect

January 1

Starting January 1, 2020, all Newton retail establishments and restaurants will be required to distribute only recyclable paper bags or reusable checkout bags at point of purchase. Merchants will be required to collect a ten-cent fee on paper bags distributed at the point of check out.  Merchants will retain the ten-cent fee, but the bag charge is subject to Mass sales tax. Most plastic bags are banned. Some exceptions exist.

In addition, the use of the following items are also banned in Newton starting January 1, 2020:

  • Food establishments are prohibited from dispensing disposable plastic stirrers.
  • Food establishments are prohibited from dispensing prepared food or beverages in disposable food containers made from foam polystyrene.
  • Retail establishments are prohibited from selling or distributing disposable food containers OR packing materials made from foam polystyrene.

Any food or retail establishment found in violation of these new ordinances is subject to a fine:

  • First offense: warning
  • Second offense: $100
  • Third offense: $200
  • Subsequent offenses: $300

Each day a violation occurs constitutes a separate offense. Questions should be directed to the Newton Health & Human Services Department 617-796-1420.