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Plastic Bag Bans: Can Philly Catch On?

Italy decided to start the new year off right by completely banning plastic bags in the country.

Italians were using 20 BILLION bags per year – more than 330 per person, and was about 1/5 of the bags used in Europe. However, starting January 1st, retailers were required to distribute biodegradable plastic, cloth or paper bags instead.  Italy joins the ranks of Mexico City & San Fran to implement a complete plastic bag ban, which Philadelphia failed to pass in June 2009. (However, retailers with Philly locations like IKEA & Whole Foods have banned plastic bags internally.)

Other cities have imposed taxes on plastic bags: Trendsetter Ireland implemented a 15 euro cents (.20 US) tax on plastic in 2002, cutting 90% of bag usage within 1 week.  Neighbor Washington DC charges a nickel for each bag you use, implemented last year.

Plastic bags are detrimental to the environment, harm wildlife & pollute our city. Readers, what are you doing to avoid using plastic bags?  Do you think the city can implement a plastic bag ban in the near future?

Posted by Julie

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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

2 thoughts on “Plastic Bag Bans: Can Philly Catch On?

  1. I think Philadelphia should give tax incentives to businesses to use bio-degradable or recycled plastic bags. As any dog owner can tell you, we definitely need our plastic bags to help keep philly clean.

  2. Props to IKEA and Whole Foods. Philly has made strides in so many areas over the past few years, let’s get on the no plastic bag bandwagon!

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