Township of Easttown: public hearing scheduled on plastic bag ban

EASTTOWN TWP, PA – Pennsylvania has not had a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags, but several municipalities have issued bans.

They include Philadelphia and Pittsburgh; the townships of Haverford and West Goshen, and the boroughs of Narberth and West Chester.

To reduce pollution, trash and waste, Easttown Township supervisors have proposed an ordinance banning single-use plastic bags at local businesses.

A public hearing is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in the township building, 566 Beaumont Road.

If the order is passed, businesses will no longer be allowed to supply single-use plastic bags from January 1, 2023.

According to the draft order:

  • Recyclable paper bags and take-out cloth bags can be used.
  • Single-use plastic bags would be banned, with the exception of bags for produce and packaged meats.
  • For the first six months, businesses would be required to post signs alerting customers to the new policy.
  • A written warning would be issued in the event of a violation. A fine of $100 will be assessed for the first offense and will increase for each subsequent offense.

The purpose of the ordinance is to preserve residents’ right to clean air, clean water and to protect streams, rivers and waterways.

Plastic bags often get stuck in streams, sewers and trees, and the township has no way to recycle them, according to the proposed ordinance.

The draft order is available here.

In July 2019, the West Chester Borough Council single-use plastic bags prohibitedfrom July 2020, with entry into force on January 1, 2022.

Under West Chester’s order:

  • Businesses are required to charge 10 cents per use of recyclable paper bags.
  • Businesses can apply for waivers for review by a borough committee.
  • Companies that violate the order will receive a written warning and increasing fines for successive violations.

Bryce K. Locke