Stop & Shop Putting a Stop to Small Plastic Bottles
Stop & Shop is one of the many retailers affected by a new bylaw prohibiting the sale of plastic bottles. Edgartown, Massachusetts became the sixth and final Island town in Massachusetts to ban the sale of plastic water bottles 34 oz. or smaller during the 2022 annual town meeting in April. The town initially postponed passing the ban in a narrow vote during the 2020 annual town meeting. The bylaw was written by the student group Plastic Free MV, who first successfully got the ban passed in West Tisbury, Massachusetts potentially marking the first of its kind in North America. According to the bylaw, the ban covers noncarbonated, unflavored water and soft drinks in plastic bottles 34 oz. or smaller. The bylaw defines soft drinks as “any beverage containing carbonated water with a sweetener (including fruit juice) and/or a flavoring.” Exceptions will be made during emergency situations affecting the availability and quality of drinking water. Enforcement of the bylaw is under the select board’s jurisdiction, and first-time offenders will receive a written warning. After the first offense, violators will be subject to a fine. Stop & Shop is working diligently to implement the change starting April 1st, “we are prepared to be in compliance with the new law by its effective date,” Stop & Shop spokesperson Maura O’Brien wrote in an email.