A report commissioned by the city of Philadelphia has revealed that the ban on single-use plastic bags, which came into effect on July 1, 2021, has prevented the use of 200 million plastic bags. The ban, which also applies to paper bags not made from at least 40% recycled materials, carries a penalty of $150 or more per violation for retailers. The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Swarthmore College, found that while the use of paper and reusable bags had increased, overall the estimated number of disposable bags had dropped significantly. Environmental advocates have praised the ban, with other municipalities in Pennsylvania following Philadelphia’s lead and implementing similar measures.
Photo Credit: Christopher Vega