The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Philadephia will start enforcing a ban on plastic bags on April 1. Credit: Max Mester

Philadelphia officials will begin enforcing Philadelphia’s plastic bag ban on April 1, six months after the ban first went into effect on Oct. 1.

The city postponed enforcing the ban — which prohibits both single-use plastic bags and paper bags that are made from polylactic acid or do not contain at least 40% recycled content — for six months to help businesses adjust.

Starting in April, the penalty for retail establishments that provide customers with single-use plastic bags is a minimum of $150, and each violation will be a separate fine. Businesses that incur repeated violations may be taken to court, according to WHYY

There are some exceptions to the plastic bag ban, including bags used to deliver perishables, bags for prescription drugs, newspaper bags, and bags for pet or yard waste.

Last fall, environmental advocacy group PennEnvironment found that more than half of businesses were violating the ban on single-use bags. 

The ban originally passed in December 2019, but the city delayed implementing it initially due to the impact of the pandemic on the community and small businesses.

The city is offering store owners signs and flyers to publicize the new expectations. It is also providing lists of vendors to owners that sell reusable bags and paper bags, WHYY reported. 

“Philadelphia is committed to advancing our environmental goals, and the ban on single-use plastic bags is an important step forward to achieve these goals,” Mayor Jim Kenney told WHYY.