2-cent fee proposed for single-use plastic bags in Pennsylvania | TribLIVE.com

2-cent fee proposed for single-use plastic bags in Pennsylvania

Mary Ann Thomas
Single-use plastic bag pollution prompted a recent proposal for a 2-cent fee on plastic bags used by large stores.

Earlier this month, PennEnvironment joined forces with Pennsylvania House Democrats to announce its “Zero Waste PA” package of 13 bills looking to tackle a number of litter and pollution problems.

According to PennLive, the proposals range from “creating a 5-cent beverage bottle and can deposit program and raising fines for littering to restricting the availability of plastic straws and charging a 2-cent fee for a non-reusable plastic bag.”

The 2-cent fee on a single-use plastic bag was proposed by two Philadelphia Democrats, state Reps. Brian Sims and Jared Solomon. The fee would apply to stores grossing more than $1 million annually.

“I don’t think that many people like plastic bags,” Solomon told PennLive. “It’s kind of become the modern-day tumbleweed and we need to do better to eradicate our communities of this item.”

California, New York and Hawaii have passed plastic bags bans, and a number of major cities have bans or charge a fee including Boston, Chicago, Seattle and Washington D.C., according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

In 2017, a bill keeping local government officials from banning or taxing single-use plastic bags cleared the Pennsylvania Legislature but was vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf.

“It’s another instance where the Commonwealth is wrestling local control away from local governments, telling them what they can and can’t do,” Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills, told the Tribune-Review.

“Our members think this is a serious environmental issue, … and local communities should decide what’s in their best interest,” Costa said.

PennEnvironment Executive Director David Masur admitted that it will be an uphill battle for the “Zero Waste PA” proposals in the GOP-controlled state House.

“But at least it could get the conversation started,” he said.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.