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City gets ready for the Plastic Bag Ban – FINALLY happening – on July 1
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City gets ready for the Plastic Bag Ban – FINALLY happening – on July 1

The city will start with signage, a lot of warning periods, until the ban takes full effect in 2022.

After 16 years, the city of Philadelphia will finally see regulations on plastic bags.

Starting July 1st, there will be a ban on single-use plastic bags to reduce plastic waste and clean up the city’s streets and waterways. All commercial businesses will be included from food, clothing, home goods, and delivery. Dry cleaner bags, garbage bags, or bags for perishable foods (I.e., fish, meats, flowers, etc.) for goods sold inside stores are not included in the ban. Even so, the change will not happen overnight.

There will be a nine-month awareness, education, and warning period before full enforcement begins. Businesses will be required to hang signage about the ban by August 1, 2021, with a full prohibition of plastic bags starting October 1st. On April 1, 2022, the city will enforce the ban with penalties to businesses.

The city has released business resources, including downloadable signage, complaint bag vendors, presentations, and flyers available on its website.

plastic bag ban signage
Downloadable flyer available on City of Philadelphia’s website.

There have been several failed efforts to reduce plastic bags. Office of Sustainability Director, Christine Knapp, began her advocacy career with an effort in 2005.

Logan Welde, Staff Attorney and Director of Legislative Affairs of Clean Air Council, has been working on efforts with Councilman Mark Squilla and environmental groups for nine years.

(Disclaimer: Green Philly spearheaded a “Ban the Bag Day” and petition in 2012, gaining traction on the efforts. As a rebranded media organization, we no longer are involved in political efforts.)

Philadelphians use almost 1 billion plastic bags each year, resulting in over 10,000 hours of lost staff time at the recycling facility, litter on the streets and waterways, and taxpayer dollars.


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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

1 thought on “City gets ready for the Plastic Bag Ban – FINALLY happening – on July 1

  1. Re: plastic bag ban Great! Now how can we get Amazon to ban their plastic mailers???

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