Boston's ban on thin plastic shopping bags starts at city stores tomorrow, which means you'll either have to bring your own bags or get charged 5 cents for each of the thicker plastic or paper bags the stores will offer as an alternative.
The ban, the brainchild of City Councilors Matt O'Malley (West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain) and Michelle Wu (at large), is intended to reduce the amount of flying trash that winds up in Boston trees, streets and waterways, bring down the amount of greenhouse gases used to make the things and to reduce problems at the company that handles recycled waste for the city, where workers currently spend several hours a day fishing the pesky bags out of their equipment.
O'Malley has estimated Boston residents use 357 million of the things every year.
Fans of dry cleaning, newspapers and fresh fish can relax - the ban does not apply to the bags used to keep freshly cleaned clothes clean, to keep newspapers dry or to keep fish and other food products from leaking all over the other stuff in your recyclable shopping bag on the way home.
The city will immediately begin inspections of large stores - over 20,000 square feet - to ensure compliance. Stores between 10,000 and 20,000 square feet will have until April 1 to worry about snap plastic-bag inspections; smaller stores until July 1.