The Brookline Town Meeting approved the bag ban Wednesday by a vote of 142-53 after supporters of the measure showed Town Meeting members pictures of a cow chewing on a plastic bag and other animals entangled in the bags, The Boston Globe reported.
When the law goes into effect in December 2013, single-use plastic checkout bags that are not biodegradable and are issued as checkout bags at the point of sale will be banned.
The law will apply to supermarkets that have had more than $1 million in gross sales during the previous tax year, retail pharmacies with at least two locations in Brookline, and retail stores of more than 2,500 square feet.
The ban was a way for Brookline to take the lead on environmental health, Selectwoman Jesse Mermell said.
"You don't have to be a scientist to see how plastic bags are harmful to the environment," Mermell said.
The plastic bag ban came one day after passage of a ban on Styrofoam containers for take-out food and beverages in food service establishments in Brookline.