Newtown Twp. Adopts Ban On Single-Use Plastics

Newtown Township will ease into a single-use plastics ban in spring 2024.

File Photo.

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors have passed an ordinance banning single-use plastic bags, expanded polystyrene food service products, single-use plastic straws, and utensils.

The measure, set to take effect early April 2024, places the township on the growing list of municipalities in the state addressing environmental concerns and waste reduction amid a rise in waste hauling costs.

The ordinance passed with a 4-1 vote. It gained support from Democratic Supervisors Phil Calabro, John Mack, Elen Snyder, and Chairperson Dennis Fisher. Republican Kyle Davis was the sole dissenter.

The supervisors expect businesses to adapt gradually to this change in the coming months.

The ban includes exemptions for certain single-use plastics necessary for food safety or upon customer request.

The Township officials, along with the Environmental Advisory Council, are committed to educating both businesses and residents about the new changes, officials have said.

The ordinance highlighted the environmental impact of single-use plastics, noted the many, many items that are wasted and the impact on the planet.

“Studies have documented that placing a mandatory charge on single-use plastic bags, banning expanded polystyrene food service products, and not providing single- use plastic straws or utensils will dramatically reduce the use of such items,” the ordinance reads.

Retailers are expected to start displaying signs about the ban at points of sale starting late winter through spring.

The ordinance allows for extensions up to a year under unique circumstances or to deplete existing stock.

Violations of the ban will initially result in warnings and then a $50 fine, a $100, and a $200 fine for each infraction.

Enforcement will be overseen by the township’s code enforcement department, officials said.

Plastic bags on a table.

Supervisor Snyder, an advocate for the ban, last month emphasized the need to curtail the reliance on environmentally harmful single-use plastics.

Elaine McCarron, co-chairperson of the Newtown Environmental Advisory Council, noted that Newtown Township is joining a list of Pennsylvania municipalities that have implemented similar bans, including Lancaster, Solebury, Springfield, and Upper Merion townships.

About the author

David Hunt

David J. Hunt is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. A proud alumni of Temple University, he started out at his college's newspaper and never looked back. When he isn't writing, he enjoys reading, traveling and working out. You can find more of his work in Yardbarker, FanSided and the Chestnut Hill Local. You can follow him on Twitter at @dave_hunt44.