At New Bedford’s Market Basket It’s in the Bag – Or Not
If there is any difference in durability between Market Basket's new paper bag and wet tissue, I just don't see it.
The New Bedford City Council passed an ordinance two years ago banning single-use plastic bags at most of the city's retail locations. Even though Mayor Jon Mitchell signed the measure into law in 2020, it was early this year that enforcement finally began.
WBSM News reported in January 2020, "The plastic bag ban applies to any commercial entity with retail space over 10,000 feet, or with at least two locations under the same name in the city totaling 10,000 square feet of space." The law states, "retail stores, restaurants, pharmacies, convenient and grocery stores, liquor stores, and seasonal and temporary and seasonal businesses must all comply."
Fines for non-compliance are $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense, and $300 for each subsequent offense.
The bag ban was adopted by some businesses right away, but not so by others. Trucchi's switched immediately to paper bags, but it wasn't until WBSM's Kate Robinson called out the administration for not enforcing the ban in January 2022 was Market Basket forced to comply with it.
I can't speak for the other markets because I seldom shop there, but Market Basket replaced its cheesy-thin plastic bags with cheesy-thin paper bags. Councilor Brian Gomes says constituents quickly complained the bags are too bulky, rip too easily, and don't have the convenient handles the plastic bags have.
Gomes asked the administration to suspend the plastic bag ban until the whole mess is sorted out, but that would require the city council to pass a new ordinance and the mayor to sign it.
In the meantime, the cheesy-thin paper bags remain much to the chagrin of many shoppers.