Providence’s plastic bag ban begins Tuesday


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A ban on single-use plastic bags goes into effect Tuesday in Providence.

The city hopes shoppers will switch to reusable bags with stitched handles.

The ban prohibits retailers from offering plastic bags at checkout counters unless they apply for an exemption. More than 30 businesses have already done so, including the Chalkstone Supermarket.

“I think it is a great move,” manager Roger Rodrigue said. “For one, for the environment—you always want to make stuff recyclable—and just the mess alone. There is a lot of bags that blow around in the neighborhood.”

Rodrigue says the Chalkstone Supermarket’s exemption will end in about a month when they run out of the inventory of plastic bags with the store’s logo on them.

“I just think it’s great the city gave us a little time to use some of that so we don’t lose money,” he added.

Retailers who violate the policy will first be issued a warning, then fined
$50 or $100 for multiple offenses.

“We do hope that stores will actually be using less bags through the implementation of this policy and consumers will be bringing their reusable bags,” Providence’s Director of Sustainability Leah Bamberger said.

There are still efforts to institute a statewide plastic bag ban. A bill passed the Senate earlier this year but died in the House. The two chambers haven’t been able to come to an agreement about the types of reusable bags that should be allowed.

Learn More: Businesses gearing up for Providence plastic bag ban »

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