Small plastic water bottle sales ending April 1 in Edgartown

The Stop & Shop in Edgartown is reminding customers about the plastic bottle ban is happening. — Connie Berry

Stop & Shop is reminding the community with signs at its Edgartown store of a change coming. Starting April 1, the town will ban the sale of small plastic water bottles.

“We are prepared to be in compliance with the new law by its effective date,” Stop & Shop spokesperson Maura O’Brien wrote in an email, who said the company has been “working diligently” for the change.

Edgartown became the sixth and final Island town to ban the sale of plastic water bottles 34 oz. or smaller during the 2022 annual town meeting in April. The town initially postponed passing the ban in a narrow vote during the 2020 annual town meeting.

The bylaw now takes effect nearly a year after it was approved by voters. Edgartown assistant town clerk Collette Jordan said this is to allow businesses to use up their inventory and give them time to figure out what to order next.

The initiative was pushed by young environmental activists called Plastic Free MV, who first successfully got the ban passed in West Tisbury, which was also potentially the first of its kind in North America.

According to the bylaw, the ban covers noncarbonated, unflavored water and soft drinks in plastic bottles 34 oz. or smaller. The bylaw defines soft drinks as “any beverage containing carbonated water with a sweetener (including fruit juice) and/or a flavoring.” 

The only exception would be during emergency situations affecting the availability and quality of drinking water.

Enforcement of the bylaw is under the select board’s jurisdiction, and first-time offenders will receive a written warning. A second violation will result in a $50 fine. A third or subsequent violation will result in a $100 fine, with each additional day counting as a separate violation. 


  1. So happy to see Edgartown was the last to fall to the woke Ness of the island. Let’s cut down 20 acres of carbon eating forest so we can put up greenhouses let’s make all homes all electric so those propane and coal fired plants can burn somewhere else. If the island really wanted to do something to help the environment, they would prohibit private planes from flying to the island. The private plane arrivals do more environmental damage than any of these other feel good projects that just make living harder. These private planes bring in the trophy home owners which the MVC also dislikes. I would suggest if the wealthy could not get here by private plane, they would not come. That would be a win-win for some.

    • Bob- It seems I am agreeing with you fairly frequently these days.
      One of the things that really irritates me about the private jets, is that they often sit on the tarmac idling while their owners have have their lunch on the Vineyard before jetting back to New York. Just go to the end of the North line road at the industrial park in the summer.
      This seems to be the favorite parking spot for idling jets. They throw their exhaust directly into the airspace of the nearby businesses, and do it for hours.
      But just because we call all point to cases of whataboutism does not mean we shouldn’t do anything. We can ban wasteful products like small disposable water bottles ( no one actually needs them) AND put at least some limits on the egregious waste of the uber wealthy and their private jets.

      • But but but –isn’t there a Mass. law that lmits idling time to five minutes?

        Of course, I have never seen this law enforced, but the North Line Road might be a good place to start.

        I wonder whether this comment will see the light of day. I don’t think my previous comment did. I do not have a subscription because I buy the print paper. My po box is too small to be clogged with papers. I wonder whether the Times policymakers realize that quite a few people are obliged to have small PO boxes—for which they pay—because postal delivery is not universal.

        • Katherine– hopefully we are not going so far “off topic” that this will be “moderated” out of the conversation.
          That’s MGL chapter 90 section 16 A
          I have been asking the police to enforce it for years.
          Unfortunately, the police are often guilty of it also.
          On Thursday. March second, I observed a Tisbury police cruiser parked and running at 5 corners while the officer was on traffic control duty. I went to O.B, and when I returned, the cruiser was still running. I asked the officer to turn it off. He knew the law and said it could run for 5 minutes– I said I observed it running 30 minutes ago. He complied with my polite request.
          As far as the airport goes, they seem to think they are exempt because they are under the jurisdiction of the FAA. ( I have talked to them once a few years ago).
          The Oak Bluffs police department also seems to think they are exempt because they can’t figure out any way to keep drugs , such as narcan, from freezing on a cold night without leaving the on duty cruiser running all night in front of the station if the temp is below 35 degrees. A police cruiser, by the way, uses about 1/2 gallon of gas an hour while idling– just in case any taxpayers out there want to know how their tax dollars are being spent.
          But to get back on topic, yes, Bob is right– restricting private jets
          is likely much more environmentally effective than banning small water bottles.

    • Bob, I do not quite understand why you continually mention “coal fired plants” when speaking about the electricity we use here.
      I have repeatedly pointed out to you that the New England power grid only has one coal fired plant that generates electricity. It is in Bow New Hampshire —ONE– So that would be “A coal fired plant” not “coal fired plants”.
      That one plant runs on an intermittent basis and generates less than 1/2 of one percent of the electricity consumed in New England.
      For example, today, March 5 2023, no electricity was generated through the use of coal, or “petroleum products” — Apparently propane is not considered a “petroleum product. Perhaps that’s because new England produces nearly 10% of it’s power by wind, and it’s a little breezy today. I hope the fine people of Bow are appreciative that they are using electricity generated by windmills that are “somewhere else”. I am sure you doubt my statistics, so please note the pie chart in the link below– thanks.

      But the point is, the windfarm will likely put that one coal plant completely out of business. I imagine the local residents of Bow, N.H will not mind cleaner air or will miss the rumble of coal trucks coming into their quiet little town. I wonder how far that coal has to travel (in a truck) to get there ? I am certainly willing to sacrifice a tiny portion of my ocean view so they can breathe better. I will let you know when that happens, and then we can have a rational discussion about how we power our houses and vehicles.
      In the meantime, I can assure you that none of the electricity I use comes from a coal fired plant located “somewhere else”.

  2. I was wondering why 34 oz or less. Then I looked at my 1 liter bottle of seltzer and guess what? 33.8 oz. Goodby to 1 liter bottles.

    • You’ll be fine. Your precious seltzer will come in aluminum, glass or cardboard. I buy fruit juice in half gallon cardboard containers weekly, works just fine with minimal plastic waste.

  3. Remember when everything came in a glass container? That was nice. I wish we could go back to that.

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