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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: March 28, 2017 03:47 PM
From: Representative Frank A. Farry
To: All House members
Subject: Prohibiting a Political Subdivision from Imposing a Ban, Fee, Surcharge or Tax on Recyclable Plastic Bags at the Point of Sale
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that prohibits a political subdivision from imposing a ban, fee, surcharge or tax on recyclable plastic bags at the point of sale. This legislation will in no way prevent retailers from charging for plastic bags.

A number of cities and states across the country have implemented or are looking to implement bans or taxes on plastic bags with the intent to reduce waste and protect the environment. Studies conducted in these cities and states reveal that plastic bag bans or taxes had no impact on the amount of retail bag waste generated. Unfortunately, these policies also end up negatively impacting the poor by increasing the total cost of goods and drastically reduce the benefits of plastic bag recycling programs across the country. More than 90 percent of Americans have access to plastic bag recycling through retail take-back programs and the rate of plastic bag, film and wrap recycling surged 74 percent since 2005.

There are currently eleven states that have already adopted similar language. Additionally, there are 14 manufacturing facilities located in Pennsylvania and 1,500 residents whose jobs depend on the plastic bag recycling and manufacturing industry. This proposal would allow sustainable recycling and reuse practices while also supporting good, family-sustaining jobs.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Introduced as HB1071