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06/15/2024 07:00 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: February 7, 2024 01:05 PM
From: Representative G. Roni Green
To: All House members
Subject: Free Alternatives to Single-Use Plastic Bags
During the summer of 2021, the City of Philadelphia implemented a ban on single-use plastic bags, prohibiting retail establishments from providing such bags in an effort to reduce litter while simultaneously saving money and keeping staff members safe. Residents of Philadelphia use approximately one billion plastic bags each year. When not discarded properly, these bags may end up in the streets, waterways, and commercial corridors.
While this decision may be environmentally and fiscally responsible in the long run, it has had a dramatic impact on low-income residents of Philadelphia. Many individuals simply cannot afford to purchase a paper or reusable bag at checkout and are forced to try and carry all their items on their person as they leave the corner store, supermarket, or other retail establishment.
Facing a similar ban, a New Jersey township implemented an ordinance to require retail establishments to provide free alternative bags to any customer who participates in or is a beneficiary of a welfare program. I intend to replicate this at the state level and provide free single-use plastic bag alternatives to all customers of a retail establishment that has chosen to or is located within an area that has ordered a ban on the provision of single-use plastic bags at checkout. Retail establishments will have the authority to choose which type of alternative bag they must provide, and customers do not need to be beneficiaries of a welfare program to obtain the free alternative bags.
As we move toward a more climate-conscious world and policy that reflects that worldview, it is vitally important that we look to aid our neighbors in this transition. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB2111