In May of 2019, the Somerville City Council passed an ordinance banning the use of plastic straws and/or stirrers in all food and retail establishments within the City of Somerville. This ordinance will go into effect on February 9, 2020; however, during the first six months, only warnings will be issued to give businesses a chance to substitute alternative products.
This ordinance is the latest step that the City of Somerville has taken to protect the marine environment, advance solid waste reduction, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and protect waterways. To date, the City of Somerville has also enacted plastic bag bans and Styrofoam bans toward the same goals.
Under this ordinance, retail establishments will no longer be permitted to offer customers plastic, single-use plastic straws or stirrers at the point-of-purchase or at self-serve food or beverage stations, unless a specific request is made by a customer. If retailers or restaurants do plan to provide plastic straws or stirrers, upon request only, they must also post a printed sign in any area where other single-use items, such as utensils, are provided. If a retail establishment is found to be non-compliant with this ordinance, the first violation will result in a warning. Subsequent violations will carry a fine.
Please review the information below for more information. If you have questions regarding enforcement of this ordinance or other regulations, please contact the Inspectional Services Department, Health Division at (617) 625-6600 x4331.