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Blog Post  Massachusetts: First State to Enact Procurement Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bottles

  • Operational Services Division

ON SEPTEMBER 21, 2023, MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR MAURA HEALEY signed Executive Order No. 619 (EO619): Eliminating the Purchase by the Executive Department of Single-Use Plastic Bottles. As used in EO619, a “single-use plastic bottle” refers to a beverage in a sealed rigid plastic bottle having a capacity of 21 fluid ounces or less. Beverages include, but are not limited to, water, juice, milk, and soft drinks. Based on the Executive Order, all Executive Departments shall stop purchasing single-use plastic bottles immediately.

During the signing ceremony, Governor Healey proclaimed, “Single-use plastics are among the biggest threats to our environment, our climate goals, and public health. They are made from fossil fuels, they produce and emit greenhouse gases, and, as waste, we know the damage they do to our streams and waterways and the harm they cause to our oceans.”

The Governor continued, “State government can and will chart a better path forward. That’s what we are doing today. We are ending the purchase of plastic bottles by state agencies and moving to sustainable alternatives, effective immediately. We are proud to be the first state to take this step and encourage others to follow Massachusetts’ lead.”

Executive Order No. 619 Impact on OSD Statewide Contracts

Two Statewide Contracts are impacted by this EO:

  • GRO39: Drinking Water – General and Emergency Services
  • GRO41: Dairy Products and Baked Goods Statewide Contract
    Plastic bottles

Vendors on these contracts have been notified of EO619, and the Operational Services Division (OSD) is working with vendors to determine if they are able to provide environmentally preferable packaging alternatives (i.e., paper cartons, aluminum cans, etc.) for beverages with a capacity of 21 fluid ounces or less. The GRO39 and GRO41 Contract User Guides and Vendors’ Price Sheets will be updated to reflect options that comply with the new Executive Order as information is shared by Contractors. While single-use plastic bottles having a capacity of 21 fluid ounces or less will continue to be available on the GRO39 and GRO41 Statewide Contracts, Executive Departments are not authorized to purchase these products. However, and per the EO, each Executive Department shall take appropriate steps to limit the purchase, use, or sale of single-use plastic bottles under the following circumstances:

  1. No alternative is available or practicable;
  2. Necessary to protect health, safety, and welfare;
  3. Compliance with the Executive Order would conflict with contract requirements or labor agreements in existence as of the effective date of this Order or conflict with agreements solicited before the effective date of this Order;
  4. To prepare for an emergency.

Additionally, purchases of single-use plastic bottles having a capacity of 21 fluid ounces or less now require Executive Agencies to file the Single-Use Plastic Bottle Procurement Justification form as part of their Procurement File in COMMBUYS.

Although eligible entities outside of Executive Departments are not bound by this EO, they are encouraged to adopt their own plans to eliminate their purchase of single-use plastic bottles.

Refer additional questions to the OSD Help Desk at 888-MA-State (627-8283).

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