Enforcement of the town’s ban on the sale of plastic water bottles of one liter or less will not begin until the town has installed three, free public water stations throughout town, within several weeks. The town will give merchants at least 30 days’ notice before any enforcement begins.

Though a date is not yet confirmed for completion of fountain installations, merchants who are still selling plastic water bottles of one liter or less are urged to begin phasing out their supplies.

We understand there is confusion and uncertainty at the moment regarding enforcement, and we are doing our best to clarify our expected timeline,” said Town Manager Mark Pruhenski. “Our sincere hope is that, once our fountains are in place, no enforcement will be needed as merchants join in our community’s effort to reduce the impact of plastic on our environment.”

Pruhenski said the town is grateful to the many merchants who have already phased out their supplies of plastic bottles, and to those who have joined the “GB on Tap” program. GB on Tap merchants agree to provide free water fill-ups to customers with reusable bottles.

In the coming weeks the town will share the following information:

-A specific date for requiring that all plastic water bottles of one liter or less be removed from store shelves.

-Signage for merchants who wish to post notices in their stores explaining to customers the town’s ban on single-use water bottles.

-Publicity informing residents, visitors, and others in town about our ban on smaller water bottle sales, and locations of public water fountains.

The ban on the single-use water bottle sales can be lifted in the event of a municipal 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 the Mason and Ramsdell Libraries.

For further information contact Rebecca Jurczyk, Great Barrington Board of Health, (413) 528-0680