MONTGOMERY TWP — Montgomery Township has become the latest municipality in Montgomery County to ban plastic bag use in stores. Upper Moreland, West Norriton, Lower Merion and Upper Merion townships had previously passed ordinances banning the use.
The Montgomery Township Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance in September which officials said was aimed at reducing the use of single-use plastic carry-out bags, plastic straws, and polystyrene containers, such as Styrofoam.
The new rule will go into effect on April 22, 2024.
The following restrictions will be applied to point-of-sale of retailers, restaurants, and related businesses within Montgomery Township:
• Single-use plastic bags may no longer be given out at point-of-sale.
• Plastic straws can only be given upon a customer’s specific request.
• Polystyrene containers like Styrofoam may no longer be given out.
Businesses may offer alternatives such as reusable bags or paper bags containing a minimum of 40 percent recycled content, for which they may charge a minimum fee of 10 cents per bag.
Exemptions to these rules are detailed within the ordinance, which is available on the Montgomery Township website.
Special provisions are made for plastic bags used for milk, produce, meat, and cold products, which are still permitted.
To inform the public, businesses are required to post signage by November 25, 2023, which will be provided by Montgomery Township. Failure to comply with the ordinance will result in penalties ranging from a written warning for the first offense to fines of up to $200 for repeated offenses within a twelve-month period.
Several municipalities in Montgomery County have passed bag bans in recent months, including Upper Merion and Upper Moreland townships in July 2023, Lower Merion Township in June, and West Norriton Township in November 2022.
Additional information about this Ordinance is available at MontTwp.org/SUP