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Plastic Bag Ban “officially” begins April 1st

Plastic Bag Ban “officially” begins April 1st

After months of warning periods for businesses, the city will start issuing violations with penalties of $150.

After a few introductory periods, Philadelphia’s plastic bag ban will be finalized on April 1st.

The past 6 months (since October 1st) served as the kickoff for businesses but functioned as an awareness, education, and warning period. Starting April 1, the City of Philadelphia will begin issuing violations with financial penalties for using non-compliant bags.

Notices will carry a minimum fine of $150, and each violation is subject to a separate fine.

Find more information and resources on Philadelphia’s plastic bag ban website.

What bags are banned?

Retail establishments cannot provide the following:

  • All single-use plastic bags. This includes bags created through a “blown film extrusion” process. The blown film extrusion process is the primary way that all plastic bags that use plastic film are created, regardless of the thickness of the plastic. Therefore, this legislation bans all bags we commonly refer to as single-use plastic bags, no matter their thickness.
  • 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 (must be labeled with the name of the manufacturer and the percentage of post-consumer recycled content of the bag in easy-to-read font size).

Exempt bags:

  • 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).
  • Bags provided by pharmacists to contain prescription drugs.
  • Newspaper bags.

The purpose of the plastic bag ban is to reduce the litter and waste from the 1 billion+ plastic bags used annually in the City, also clogging our waterways.

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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher
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