Philadelphia’s ban on single-use plastic bags will go into effect Friday, October 1..The emergence of the pandemic in 2019 delayed the ban which prevents stores from giving customers single-use plastic bags or non-recyclable paper bags.
Businesses that are not complying will only be given a warning through April 1, 2022, at which point full enforcement will be applied. This means fines starting at $75 per violation and possible further action in court.
As reported by nbcphiladelphia.com, Mayor Jim Kenney said in a written statement that the measure is a significant step forward in achieving the environmental goals set for the city. “Philadelphia remains committed to advancing our environmental goals, and the ban on single-use plastic bags will be an important step forward to achieve those goals.”
“We also understand this is a major change for businesses, which is why we built out an extended education and warning period to ensure widespread awareness of the law to our diverse business owners and to residents and consumers,” added the Mayor.
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Although businesses will not be able to use plastic bags starting in October, the mayor’s office reiterated that there will be a six-month period of awareness, education and warning, so their use will be officially banned until April 2022.
The ban will affect all commercial establishments that offer bags such as: Supermarkets, stores, gas stations, warehouses, clothing stores, restaurants and delivery services.
What is banned?
The City of Philadelphia official website published a list of the banned bags.
- All single-use plastic bags. This includes all those created through a “blown film extrusion” process or bags that are less than 2.25 mils thick.
- Bags made from PLA (polylactic acid) created through a blown film extrusion process.
- Any paper bag that does not contain at least 40 percent recycled content and does not meet the labeling criteria set in the legislation.
The following bags are exempt:
- Dry cleaner bags. Bags sold in packages containing multiple bags intended for use as garbage bags or to contain pet waste or yard waste.
- Bags used inside a retail establishment by a customer to deliver perishable items to the point of sale (including bags used to package bulk items, meats or fish, unwrapped prepared foods, bakery goods, flowers, potted plants, or similar items).
For more information about the plastic bags ban visit www.phila.gov/programs/plastic-bag-ban.