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News Brief: Plastic bottle ban to begin Nov. 1

By Friday, Sep 20, 2019 News 2

Ban on sales of plastic water bottles of 1 liter or less to begin Nov. 1 in Great Barrington

Great Barrington — On Friday, Nov. 1, the town’s ban on the sale of plastic water bottles of 1 liter or less will be in full effect. Town merchants have been given a 30-day notice urging them to phase out supplies of single-use plastic water bottles.

“We expect that all merchants in town who have not already done so will be in full compliance by Nov. 1 as our town seeks to reduce the generation of plastic waste,” said town manager Mark Pruhenski. “We’ve created and will distribute informational signs for merchants to place in their stores’ water sale sections, if they wish. We hope this will help inform customers wondering about the absence of single-use plastic water bottles on store shelves.”

Going forward, routine board of health inspections will include a review of merchants’ compliance, and complaint-driven inspections will be conducted as needed. The board of health will oversee any enforcement measures if needed.

The town manager and the board of health will, through its enforcement authority, implement the following penalties for noncompliance:

  • First offense: $50 per day;
  • Second offense: $100 per day; and
  • Third offense: $300 per day.

Water stations have been installed at Town Hall, 334 Main St., and at the Housatonic Community Center, 1064 Main St. in Housatonic. The third and final water station at the Mason Library is expected to be installed and operational before Tuesday, Oct. 1. The fountains have been funded through citizen fundraising efforts.

The town can lift the ban on the sale of single-use plastic water bottles of 1 liter or less in the event of a public health or water emergency. In addition, a small supply of single-use water bottles is available 24/7 at the Great Barrington Police Department and during normal business hours at Town Hall and at the Mason and Ramsdell libraries.

Meanwhile, merchants who have not already done so are invited to join the GB on Tap program, in which merchants agree to provide free water fill-ups for patrons who buy or bring their own reusable water bottles.

For questions regarding the town’s bylaw related to the sale of plastic water bottles, contact Rebecca Jurczyk, Great Barrington Board of Health, at (413) 528-0680.

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