Pittsburgh To Ban Plastic Bags At Businesses

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Chris Bertman Contributor
Font Size:

City Council members in Pittsburgh voted Tuesday to ban single-use plastic bags by 2023, local news outlets reported.

Pittsburgh City Council voted unanimously in favor of banning the usage of single-use plastic bags by retailers and restaurants by April 12, 2023, according to KDKA News. Patrons will be required to provide their own reusable bags or purchase paper bags from businesses for 10 cents per bag.

Packaged grocery goods such as meats, fruits and vegetables along with garbage collection will be exempt from the single-use plastic bag ban, the Associated Press reported. People on public assistance or other social service programs will not be required to pay the 10-cent fee for paper bags. (RELATED: Farmers Facing Inflation Might Cause Your Grocery Bill To Skyrocket)

“On average, plastic bags are used for 12 minutes and then they’re gone forever. There’s so many reasons (to ban plastic bags) for our quality of life and our neighborhoods, for our public health and for future generations to be able to do something to clean up our neighborhoods and to just make Pittsburgh a better place to live,” said Councilwoman Erika Strassburger, who introduced the bill last fall, KDKA reported.

The American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance has argued against plastic bag bans citing the fees accrued by customers for bags would harm low-income households. The group further claimed that single-use plastic bags are not a leading cause of litter and are the smartest, most environmentally friendly choice at the checkout counter for both retailers and consumers.

Philadelphia enacted a similar single-use plastic bag ban earlier this month citing fines of $150 per violation, according to 6 ABC News.