Pittsburgh ready to join other cities with plastic bag ban

On November 30, 2021 Councilperson Erika Strassburger introduced legislation to ban single-use plastic bags in Pittsburgh. The bill was reintroduced in January 2022 as Bill 2022-0012, and is now waiting for passage by Pittsburgh City Council. If passed, the plastic bag ban would go into effect 180 days later. This time would allow businesses the opportunity to post required information in their stores before the changes take place, and to procure their allotment of recycled paper bags that will replace the plastic bags. Bill 2022-0012 will ban the use of single-use plastic bags and require businesses to switch to recycled paper bags for a fee of no less than 15 cents per bag.

A ban on plastic bags will help to create a healthier and more sustainable Pittsburgh by reducing plastic pollution and moving the city away from the throw-away culture that’s become the norm. The ban could prevent more than 108 million single-use plastic bags from entering the region’s waste stream.

A similar bill was passed in Philadelphia earlier in 2021 after the PA General Assembly made it possible for municipalities to implement their own single-use plastic bans instead of following state law. Pittsburgh’s version of the plastic bag bill has a high level of public support and engagement.

Last week SHUC signed a letter of support from PennEnvironment, a statewide environmental advocacy group working with Strassburger. The letter is addressed to Pittsburgh City Council and Mayor Gainey and urges them to pass Bill 2022-0012 quickly. According to PennEnvironment’s letter: “every week City Council delays the passage of this bill, nearly 2.1 million more single-use plastic bags are given out at stores and restaurants across the city.” SHUC is excited to support Councilperson Strassburger and her fight to reduce plastic pollution and prioritize the environmental health of Pittsburgh.

about SHUC

Preserving, Improving, and Celebrating the Quality of Life in Squirrel Hill

For over fifty years, the Coalition has been an active and important link in the community. It has served as a sounding board for new ideas, as well as a “watchdog” in the areas of public safety, education, residential quality, the business district, and parks and open space. With its focus on the quality of life in the 14th Ward, SHUC continues to monitor activities and future developments in the community through a range of standing committees.


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