Government

No. 17 in R.I.: Central Falls Passes Plastic Bag Ban

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I.— With a flourish of his pen, Mayor James Diossa made the city the 17th Rhode Island municipality to ban single-use plastic bags.

Sponsored by City Council member Franklin Solano, the law, called the “Retail Plastic Bag Resolution Act,” aims to reduce the number of plastic shopping bags used by city retailers, curb street litter, protect the marine environment and local waterways, and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and solid waste by encouraging the use of reusable bags.

The act is set to go into effect April 22 and requires that if a retail establishment provides a checkout bag for customers, it must be a reusable bag or a recyclable paper bag.

Modeling the law’s language after the seminal amended Barrington bag ban of five years ago, the city’s definition of a reusable bag is one “specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse, with handles which are stitched and not heat-fused. The bag shall not be made of any non-recycled plastic.”

“We want to be a much more eco-friendly community, and we have a strong belief here in Central Falls that can do just that by starting with one square mile at a time,” said Diossa, at the Feb. 7 signing of the bill in council chambers. “This elimination of single-use plastic bags gets us closer to where we want to be.”

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