Bevilacqua to Petition Council for Extension Ahead of Thursday’s Plastic Bag Ban

Mayor James J. Fiorentini issues reusable bags to city seniors ahead of the Feb. 7 enforcement date. (Courtesy photograph)

City Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua.

Haverhill’s ban of single-use plastic bags is set to begin on Thursday, Feb. 7—but Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua plans to petition his fellow councilors for an extension on the ban’s implementation.

Passed by the Council last summer in a vote of 8-1—Bevilacqua was the lone holdout—the ordinance banning the bags issued at store checkouts will be rolled out over the next three months based on the size of a business. Those locations with more than 8,000 square feet of retail space, like Market Basket, will begin the ban Thursday, with “medium-sized” businesses given until May 7 to comply.

As a result of the ban, shoppers who do to carry their own reusable bags may purchase them from the retailer at a charge of at least 5 cents. Plastic laundry or dry-cleaner bags, newspaper bags or bags to wrap frozen foods, meat or fish are exempt from the ban.

In an effort to assist Haverhill’s over-65 residents, the city is issuing one reusable bag to all seniors free of charge. Canvas bags may be picked up during regular business hours at the Welcome Street Citizens Center, the DPW on Primrose Street or the Mayor’s Office at City Hall.

97.9 WHAV FM plans to broadcast Tuesday’s City Council meeting live starting at 7 p.m. from the Theodore A. Pelosi City Council Chambers of City Hall.