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Posted on: March 20, 2020

City Exempts Stores from Charging Five-Cent Fee for Single-Use Carry Out Shopping Bags

Covid-19 Updates Portland, Maine 04101

Portland City Manager Jon Jennings issued an emergency proclamation on Friday, March 20, 2020 that exempts stores from having to charge the five-cent fee for single-use carry out shopping bags. The proclamation is in place until April 30, 2020 and is in response to the spread of COVID-19.

According to current research and understanding, COVID-19 can survive on various surfaces for hours and in some cases days. Therefore, the City is encouraging shoppers to not use their reusable bags during this time and asks that stores make single-use bags readily available. 

The public should remember that single-use plastic bags are not recyclable as part of their curbside recycling collection and should be placed in with their regular trash. 

Governor Mills and the State Legislature delayed the effective date of the state-wide single-use plastic bag ban to January 15, 2021 in response to the pandemic. However, the delay means that Portland’s municipal bag fee remains in effect, which is why the City took the steps to issue this proclamation. 

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