WILMINGTON -- The town has taken its initial steps leading up to its plastic bag ban, set to go into effect May 5, 2019.

A petition article at the last Annual Town Meeting passed, banning the use of certain plastic bags in retail and food establishments.

"All retail food establishments will be getting a notice in their renewal application form reminding them of the plastic bag ban," Director of Public Health Shelly Newhouse wrote in her memo to the Board of Selectmen. "Renewals go out toward the end of the year and are due back January 1, 2019. Postcard mailings will go out to other businesses in Town that would use plastic bags."

Town Manager Jeff Hull said the town expects the establishments to be well aware of the upcoming ban. In addition to the mailings, businesses will be reminded of the plastic bag ban online and through Wilmington Community Television's program Town Topics.

"The Wilmington Community Fund and the Wilmington Rotary Club are producing reusable bags for residents," Newhouse wrote. "I have some ideas on how to get these out to the residents and I will contact those organizations early next year."

Newhouse also noted in her memo that she will be in communication with Animal Control Officer Chris Sullivan researching how other communities dealt dog waste bags.

"The typical dog waste bags will not comply. They do not make dog waste bags larger than 2.5 ml and biodegradable ones," Newhouse wrote.


"In speaking to Chris he will replace our supplies in our kiosks before the ban goes into effect."

The Town Meeting article was petitioned by resident Julianne Hooper, who encouraged the town to be more environmentally conscious through this measure.

"The purpose of this bylaw is to limit the amount of plastic that enters and impacts the environment of Wilmington, and reduce the amount of trash that ends up on the streets and in landfills by using recyclable, reusable, or compostable bags instead of thin-film single-use plastic checkout bags," the article read.

The ban does not include produce or meat bags, newspaper bags or bags for laundry or dry cleaning articles.

Follow Kori Tuitt on Twitter @KoriTuitt.