On November 9, 2022, the West Norriton Township Commissioners passed an ordinance prohibiting retail establishments from providing single-use plastic bags and non-recycled paper bags to their customers beginning on April 22, 2023. Retail establishments may provide customers a recycled paper bag if the bag is provided to the customer for a charge of not less than $0.15 per bag. These recycled bags must contain a minimum of 40% post-consumer recycled content.
The use of single-use plastic bags has numerous severe environmental impacts, including increasing greenhouse gas emissions. It is estimated that by 2030, plastic production will surpass coal for climate change impact. Plastics also contribute to litter, add to ground level ozone formation, acid deposition, and solid waste generation, as well as harm wildlife. Microplastics can enter the human body through ingestion and inhalation where they may be taken up in various organs and can affect health. The goals of the Commissioners in passing this ordinance are to conserve resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce waste, litter, and water pollution, and to protect the public health and welfare.
Enforcement of this ordinance will not occur until 6 months after enactment, to allow establishments to prepare for this change and use up any old inventory of plastic bags.
You can do your part to help the environment by bringing your own reusable bags when you go shopping.
Retail establishments are required to post signs informing customers that single-use plastic bags and non-recycled paper bags will no longer be provided. These signs should also explain what type of bags and purchases are impacted by the ordinance. To help you meet this requirement, we have designed a sign suitable for your use. You can access it by going to the West Norriton Township plastic bag ban webpage (insert link to webpage here). There will also be a limited supply of printed signs available at the Township building.