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Yes, businesses can decide whether to provide bags for free or for a cost. We urge businesses to encourage their customers to bring their own reusable bags when they shop.
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All business establishments must be compliant by April 22, 2022.
The ban will affect all retail establishments in West Goshen Township that make bags available for carryout and/or delivery items such as food, clothing, home goods, etc. These businesses include indoor and outdoor establishments that offer food or other products to the public for sale and that generate a sales tax or use tax. Among them are:
Businesses can still provide reusable bags and compliant paper bags that meet certain criteria. For a list of vendors that provide compliant bags, click here
Yes, the rule applies to all paper bags of all sizes.
Yes, the following items are exempt:
Beginning January 3, 2022, and for six months after, retail establishments may post signage informing customers that the establishment will no longer provide single-use plastic bags and non-recycled content paper bags starting April 22, 2021. The signage must explain what types of bags and purchases are affected and provide any other information the Township may require by regulation. Click here to download a sign to print and post.
You must use all existing single-use plastic bags and non-compliant paper bag stock by April 22, 2022. Chain stores with outlets outside of the Township can ship their bag inventory to those outlets. Retailers may also consider donating their remaining stock to nonprofit reuse centers or businesses that reside in boroughs, cities or townships that do not have a plastic bag ordinance.
Plastic bags cost retailers money, and that cost is passed on to consumers. Their elimination is better for the environment and for your wallet.
Studies show that charging a fee does reduce use of single-use bags by about half, but a ban is more effective at reducing overall single-use plastic consumption.
They are up to 20% to 100% more expensive than petrochemical plastics, and although they are marketed as more eco-friendly solutions able to break down into harmless material more quickly than traditional plastics, in reality they do not.
In a recent study published in Environmental Science and Technology, researchers put supposedly eco-friendly bags made from various organic and plastic materials and sourced from U.K. stores to the test. After being buried for three years in garden soil, submerged in ocean water, exposed to open light and air, or stashed in a laboratory, none of the bags broke down completely in all environments. In fact, the biodegradable bags that had been left underwater in a marina could still hold a full load of groceries. Read more here.
No. The reality is that approximately 3-10 % of bags placed in recycle bins are actually recycled. The reason is that it is far cheaper to create a new single-use plastic bag than to recycle it. The ready supply of fracking gas used to manufacture plastic bags makes virgin plastic cheaper and more readily available than recycled plastic bags.