From the Town of Great Barrington

On Nov. 1, 2019, the town’s ban on the sale of plastic water bottles of one liter or less will be in full effect. Town merchants have been given a 30-day notice urging them to phase out supplies of these single-use plastic water bottles.

“We expect that all merchants in town who have not already done so will be in full compliance by Nov. 1 as our town seeks to reduce the generation of plastic waste,” said Town Manager Mark Pruhenski. “We’ve created and will be distributing informational signs for merchants to place in their stores’ water sale sections if they wish, and we hope this will help inform customers wondering about the absence of single-use plastic water bottles on store shelves.”

Going forward, routine Board of Health inspections will now include a review of merchants’ compliance, and complaint-driven inspections will be conducted as needed. The Board of Health will oversee any enforcement measures if needed.

The Town Manager and the Board of Health will, through its enforcement authority, implement the following penalties for non-compliance.

1st offense: $50/day

2nd offense: $100/day

3rd offense: $300/day

Water stations have been installed at the Town Hall on Main Street and at the Housatonic Community Center. The third and final water station at the Mason Library is expected to be installed and operational before Oct. 1. These fountains have been funded through citizen fundraising efforts.

The Town can lift the ban on the sale of single-use plastic water bottles of one liter or less in the event of a public health or water emergency. In addition, a small supply of single-use water bottles is available 24/7 at the Great Barrington Police Department and during normal business hours at Town Hall and at the Mason and Ramsdell libraries.

Meanwhile, merchants who have not already done so are invited to join the GB on Tap program, in which merchants agree to provide free water fill-ups for patrons who buy or bring their own reusable water bottles. You can get information on participating by going here. 

For questions regarding the town’s bylaw related to the sale of plastic water bottles, contact Rebecca Jurczyk, Board of Health, (413) 528-0680.

Featured Image:  In-store flyer for merchants who wish to display in their stores' beverage department. These flyers are being distributed directly to merchants and can also be obtained from the Health Department at Great Barrington Town Hall.

(featured image courtesy of the Town of Great Barrington)