Back in late March, when we were in a full-blown COVID-19 crisis, Governor Baker issued a ban on reusable grocery bags.

Before COVID, the trend was to ban plastic grocery bags, and New Bedford and Dartmouth were just two municipalities that had jumped on board. With the world learning as much about the novel virus as we could, the Commonwealth not only put the brakes on the plastic ban bag but also put the kibosh on the use of reusable grocery bags altogether.

Now, as Massachusetts continues to make progress with the reopening of the state, the ban on reusable grocery bags has been quietly lifted.

As of yesterday, all Market Baskets in Massachusetts are once again allowing the reusable bags in their stores. Stop & Shop also allows the bags once again.

We spoke with Shaw's Supermarket in Dartmouth. They told us that while the reusable bags are allowed, they will still be offering the plastic bags until they run out. Shaw's is also requiring people with reusable bags to bag their own groceries. Their staff is not allowed to touch the bags for fear of spreading the virus.

The announcement about the state's lifting of the ban on reusable bags came down on Friday afternoon in the form of a press release that was posted on Mass.gov. While the press release makes no specific mention of grocery bags, the memo lifts the ban.

It also no longer blocks the plastic bag bans that were put into place by local communities in the Commonwealth.

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