City Manager Ed Augustus issued an order on Monday, July 13, which extends retailers ability to use single-use plastic bags until September 1.
A ban on single-use plastic bags would have taken effect in Worcester on April 1. The municipal ordinance was pre-empted by Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Monica Bharel’s order on March 25, which suspended such local ordinances across the state.
Dr. Bharel’s order was in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential risk associated with reusable bags and spreading the virus.
Dr. Bharel rescinded her order on July 10.
Without Augustus’ order, retailers in Worcester would have been prohibited from using the remainder of their stock of single-use plastic bags.