Cheltenham Township becomes 1st in PA in 2023 to ban single-use plastics

Cheltenham Township is the first municipality in PA this year to ban the sale or distribution of single-use plastic bags. An ordinance was unanimously passed during Wednesday night’s Board of Commissioners meeting at Curtis Hall, a vote which stemmed from previous discussions in December and March, and a recommendation from November 2022.

The law goes into effect on January 1, 2024. The ordinance states that retailers will have a 90-day adjustment period.

The ban, which applies to local retailers, mandates that paper bag alternatives must contain at least 40% recycled content and calls for a $0.10 fee on non-reusable alternative bags. Retailers which violate the ordinance are subject to fines.

The Township had help from PennEnvironment, an organization that has assisted other local municipalities to enact plastic restrictions. The organization estimates that township residents use 13.7 million single-use plastic bags each year.

For additional coverage on other municipalities considering similar ordinances, you can read WHYY’s article here.