Upper Moreland Township passes single-use plastics, Styrofoam ban

Upper Moreland Township recently passed an ordinance which effectively bans single-use plastics and foam polystyrene containers from being distributed by commercial establishments within the Township.

From the ordinance’s draft:

(1) The purpose of this Chapter is to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags, expanded
polystyrene food service products and single-use plastic straws by commercial establishments
within the Township.

(2) To curb litter on the streets, in the parks, and in the trees, protect the local streams, rivers,
waterways and other aquatic environments, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce solid
waste generation, promote the use of reusable, compostable, and recyclable materials within the
Township, and to preserve the natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic values of the Township.

(3) To relieve the pressure for landfills to manage the disposition of single-use products.

According to the ordinance, paper bags will replace plastic bags, and the use of reusable bags will be promoted by Township businesses. Fines will be levied upon those individuals or businesses which violate the ordinance.

Upper Moreland is the seventh municipality in Montgomery County and the 20th in Pennsylvania to pass a plastics ban. Cheltenham Township passed their ban in April.

According to estimates from PennEnvironment, an organization which worked with the Township to craft the ordinance, Upper Moreland uses roughly 9 million plastic bags per year.

“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,” Faran Savitz of PennEnvironment said in a statement. “This sends a strong message that Montgomery County is a leader in the effort to tackle litter and single-use plastic pollution.”

For additional coverage, you can read MainLine Media News’ article here.

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