Over a year and half in the making, the plastic water bottle ban in Great Barrington is set to take effect on November 1.

The historic band, which will eliminate the sale of single use plastic water bottles of 1 liter or less, will go live a little more than a month from now. At the time the ban was originally passed, Great Barrington was only the third municipality in the entire country to enact such a bylaw.

According to the Berkshire Edge, retailers have been sent 30 day notice, urging them to filter out stock of single use plastic 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  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.

 Mark Pruhenski, Great Barrington Town Manager

via Berkshire Edge

Once the ban goes into effect, the board of health will conduct regular inspections, follow up on complaints, and should it be necessary, the board will imposes enforcement measures. If vendors are found in violation of the new ban, monetary fines will be brought against them, $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second and $300 for the third.

To encourage people to use reusable water bottles, water stations have been installed at Town Hall and at the Housatonic Community Center, and third water station at the Mason Library will be installed and operational before Tuesday, Oct. 1.

In the case of a public health or water emergency, the town can lift the ban.  In addition, a small supply of single use water bottles are available at the Great Barrington Fire Department 24 hours a day, and at Town Hall during regular business hours.

For questions and clarification on the single use plastic bottle ban, you contact Rebecca Jurczyk, Great Barrington Board of Health, at (413) 528-0680.