Plastic Bag Ban Information

On March 26, 2019, the Pittsfield City Council passed an ordinance banning the distribution of thin-film, single-use plastic bags in the City of Pittsfield. The ban becomes effective on January 1, 2020.  Read the full text of the ordinance here.

A few important components of the ordinance:

  • Pittsfield retail establishments may continue to dispense only reusable checkout bags, recyclable paper bags, or compostable plastic bags.  Definitions of each of the above can be found within the ordinance.
  • Thin-film single-use plastic bags are defined as bags with a thickness of 3 mils or less. Plastic bags of greater than 3 mils in thickness are considered reusable.
  • The following thin-film plastic bags (typically without handles) shall not fall under the definition of checkout bags, and are otherwise exempt:

    • Bags, whether plastic or not, in which loose produce or products are placed by the customer to deliver such items to the point of sale/check out area;
    • Laundry or dry cleaner bags;
    • Newspaper bags;
    • Bags used to wrap produce, frozen foods, meat or fish, and bulk foods.


  • Hardship deferments are available for retail establishments. The City’s Board of Health will consider hardship deferment requests.
  • Bag conformity will be incorporated into the City health inspection process.
  • General questions about the ordinance may be directed to the Mayor's Office.
FAQ for Retailers
FAQ and Helpful Hints for Transition

Local Initiatives 

The BagShare Project main page
The BagShare Project Pittsfield (Facebook page)

Fact Sheets
Ma Green Network