The Mass Department of Public Health has lifted the ban on reusable bags.  The ban went into effect on March 25 and prevented grocery store customers from bringing reusable bags into stores and grocery store operators from charging for paper and plastic bags.

The ban was put in place to protect the public from the transmission of Covid-19 from household to household when little was known about the transmission of the virus.

With very little advanced notice about the lifting of the reusable bag restriction, many shoppers have been surprised the last couple of days when they were once again charged for a plastic or paper bags from the grocery store.  The ban was lifted last Friday with no advanced notice to consumers.

Because store operators had to stock up on paper and plastic bags to comply with the ban, many are not happy with the lack of notice.  Without a heads-up from the state that the ban was being lifted, or even a future date, one store operator recently reordered bags not knowing the massive supply was no longer needed.

Grocery customers have also been complaining to grocery store employees about the sudden charge for bags not knowing of the lifted restrictions.  This has added to the frustration of the shopping experience during the pandemic.

Environmental groups are welcoming the lifting of the ban as the restriction on reusable bags has led to additional strain on landfills across the country.

Moving forward in Mass, before you walk into your favorite grocery store don't forget your mask and your reusable shopping bags.

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