Fiorentini on Haverhill Plastic Bag Ban: ‘Day One Went Well’

Mayor James J. Fiorentini greeted Market Basket shoppers on the first day of Haverhill's plastic bag ban in 2019. (Courtesy photograph)

Day one down. The City of Haverhill formally implemented the long-awaited ban on single-use plastic bags Thursday, and despite an 11th hour back-and-forth, the effort nearly a year in the making got off to a good start.

To mark the occasion, Mayor James J. Fiorentini visited a Market Basket supermarket to greet shoppers and distribute reusable cloth bags to seniors.

“Day one went well,” Fiorentini summed up after chatting with constituents Thursday morning.

Though some users on community-based Facebook pages bemoaned broken eggs at placed at the bottom of paper bags, initial ire appears to have tempered.

“I think it will be an adjustment for some people. I don’t think it’s an overwhelming adjustment—I use those bags as trash—but I can use something else,” City Councilor Melinda E. Barrett has said. “It’s not the be-all, end-all. It just takes a change of habit and it’s the right thing to do.”

Haverhill is one of more than 90 cities and towns across Massachusetts to prohibit such plastic. Small and medium-size businesses still dispensing plastic have until May 7 to comply with the city’s new eco-friendly ordinance.