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July 04, 2017

Wolf: Local government may implement plastic bag bans

The banning of the ban is no more.

Last month the Pennsylvania Senate was divided on a new bill that would keep retailers in the state from imposing plastic bag bans or fees. After a 28-21 vote in favor of the bill, Governor Tom Wolf vetoed the bill Friday, making the banning or taxing of plastic bags still possible in cities, towns, and counties throughout Pennsylvania.

Supporters of the bill claimed it would help create manufacturing jobs through Novolex, a packaging company with a location in Milesburg, PA.

Wolf said it was the responsibility of local governments to move toward sustainability.

“Government, at all levels, is required to prevent the unreasonable degradation, diminution, or depletion of our water, air, and land,” Wolf said in this address rejecting the bill.

Philadelphia attempted to ban plastic bags back in 2009 and then considered charging 25 cents for plastic bags by retail customers, but neither came to fruition. Other than attempted guidelines on bags in Philadelphia, reported that lawmakers are not aware of any other Pennsylvania areas enacting plastic bag provisions.

The decision is also a cohesive move for Mayor Jim Kenney’s Zero Waste and Trash cabinet, dedicated to eradicating waste from the City of Philadelphia by 2035.

“A clean Philadelphia is a vibrant and healthy Philadelphia," Kenney said in a statement last year. The cabinet, he said, was created “to identify more effective ways to increase our waste diversion rate and tackle the long-standing problems of litter and cleanliness that many of our neighbors have long struggled with.”