Pittsburgh could pursue plastic bag ban similar to Philadelphia’s

Pennsylvania’s second-largest city, Pittsburgh, may soon ban single-use plastic bags.

The ban would be similar to the ban implemented in Philadelphia last July, other bans introduced in a number of other cities.

Legislation introduced on Monday, November 22, 2021 will ban Pittsburgh shoppers from using plastic bags at the retail and grocery checkout line.

The ban completely eliminates the use of plastic bags in retail stores and grocery stores. Retailers will be required to provide reusable paper bags for a fee of 15 cents.

The ban would eliminate the use of all plastic bags, with the exception of plastic bags used for meat, poultry and fish, bags used in dry cleaners and pharmacies, and bags used for household waste. ‘animals.

The ban will not go into effect immediately and instead is expected to take 180 days to six months to come into effect if passed.

Traditionally, it takes three weeks after the introduction of previous legislation.

Philadelphia’s own plastic bag ban took about two years to be fully implemented, due to a delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Pittsburgh City Councilor Erika Strassburger, who introduced the legislation for the first time, spoke about the possible ban:

“Once we have mastered single-use plastic bags, we can’t stop there. Then it’s time to turn our attention to all the other ways we could use an object for an average of five minutes, 10 minutes, and then throw it away and stop thinking about it, ”she said.

Strassburger expects the board to take a few weeks to facilitate further discussions between officials and the public.

The city councilor believes the ban will lead to a healthier, more sustainable future in Pittsburgh. If the legislation were to be passed, fees for non-compliant companies would have to be set.

A PennEnvironment study shows that many popular waterways in Pittsburgh are currently polluted with microplastics known to potentially cause cancer and hormonal disruption.

This type of pollution is in addition to the amount that Pennsylvanians pay each year to finance clean-up. The legislation also aims to address these high costs.

Across the state of Philadelphia, so far, companies have only received warnings for non-compliant behavior. The warnings will continue for up to nine months after the initial July introduction.

The ban is expected to cause some buyers to retreat. Providing reusable bags to customers is one proposed solution.

Bryce K. Locke