Plastic Bag Bylaw

Ashland is proud to be one of more than 60 communities in Massachusetts that have now passed laws to regulate plastic bags.

Under the Bylaw, thin-film single-use plastic bags with handles and a thickness less than 4.0 mils, are prohibited from being distributed at checkout. Product bags, trash bags and thin-film plastic bags used to contain dry cleaning, newspapers, produce, meat or fish, typically without handles, are still permissible.

All retail establishments that provide a checkout bag to customers, such as grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, liquor stores, household goods stores and restaurants must comply with this bylaw.

The Bylaw encourages retailers to make reusable washable tote bags available as an alternate means of handling merchandise at checkout. Replacing single use bags with reusable bags has several benefits, including reduced costs for retailers, a cleaner community, and reduced solid waste impacts on the environment. The Bylaw does allow for the use of paper bags that contain a minimum of 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.

Click here to access the Ashland Plastic Bag Bylaw

Frequently asked questions 

Resources for Businesses

Best Practices for Businesses 

FAQ for Businesses 

For questions about the Bylaw, please contact the Ashland Sustainability Committee at or