Nantucket Health Department to Enforce Plastic Packaging Ban on September 1

litterNANTUCKET – Starting September 1st, businesses on Nantucket will have to chuck plastic materials in favor of biodegradable packaging.

The use of plastic foam or plastics in the sale or manufacture of products on the island is barred, according to the town’s Board of Health 1987 bylaw that has been reaffirmed.

The materials include plastic bags, packing materials, coffee lids and takeout containers.

Nantucket Health Director Roberto Santamaria said that there are penalties for businesses who do not follow the rules after September 1st.

“The penalties are actually $100 tickets and if they continue to not comply, they may not get their food license renewed,” said Santamaria.

The biodegradable packaging must consist of materials that break down and return to nature after a short time after disposal.

The materials also must be certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute.

But there are exemptions to the rules.

Plastic straws and utensils, small plastic containers of up to two ounces, products made off-island and those distributed by food banks and programs are among the materials exempt from the bylaw.

Santamaria said that the new biodegradable products are worth it.

“These products are just as good, they’re not the same, old corn bags from 20 years ago that used to fall apart before you could even put the food in it,” said Santamaria. “They’re good, quality products now that are at minimal cost to the consumer.”

Those with questions about the new bylaw can contact the Nantucket Health Department at 508-228-7200.


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