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Newtown Borough passes ban on single-use plastic bags and more


Newtown Borough Council unanimously passed legislation Tuesday, which will ban the distribution of single-use plastic bags in the borough.

Through this action, Newtown Borough became the 28th municipality in Pennsylvania, and the fourth in Bucks County, to pass legislation in the growing effort to rein in single-use plastics and the second to do so in 2024, according to PennEnvironment.

Plastic pollution is one of the most common forms of litter, and plastic bags in particular pose a great harm to the environment. PennEnvironment estimates that borough residents use over 820,000 single-use plastic bags annually, equivalent to over 9,000 pounds of plastic waste.

The ordinance is scheduled to go into effect after 180 days, and includes a ban on single-use plastic bags, a $0.15 fee on paper bags or other bags provided by retailers, a ban on expanded foam polystyrene containers, and restrictions on the use of plastic straws and plastic utensils.

It’s the 11th ordinance in Pennsylvania to include a ban on polystyrene foam containers. These measures set strong standards for halting the sale or distribution of single-use plastics at grocery stores, pharmacies, corner stores, and other retailers.

PennEnvironment worked with the Newtown EAC and members of Borough Council to draft the ordinance.

“Plastic bags are the poster child for the environmental harm caused by single-use plastics. Nothing we use for a few minutes, such as single-use plastic bags, should be allowed to litter our communities, pollute our environment, and fill our landfills and incinerators for hundreds of years to come. This sends a strong message that Newtown is a leader in the effort to tackle litter and single-use plastic pollution,” said PennEnvironment’s Zero Waste Advocate Faran Savitz.

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