In the fall of 2016, the Salem City Council passed a Plastic Bag Ordinance that restricts the use of single use plastic bags by all retail and food establishments in the City of Salem. With this action, Salem joins over 70 cities and towns in Massachusetts, including the nearby communities of Marblehead, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Hamilton, and Ipswich in restricting the use of plastic shopping bags. The Ordinance went into effect January 2018.
The ordinance restricts the use of single use plastic bags by all retail and food establishments in the City of Salem. This will affect any commercial establishment, whether for profit or nonprofit, any and all food vendors and retail stores. The ordinance seeks to promote the use of reusable checkout bags by retail establishments located in Salem as well as to reduce the number of single use plastic bags that are being used, discarded and littered on our streets.