Lancaster considers plastic bag rollback

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

You might use them after shopping at the grocery store, the mall, or when getting take out at a restaurant.

“The plastic bag issue in the environment is quite troubling,” said Meghan Young, owner of Character's Gastropub in Lancaster.

Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year- that’s about 1,500 per family, according to the Center for Biological Diversity, and they are killing our marine wildlife.

This is prompting some Lancaster residents and officials to say enough is enough.

“Unfortunately at the federal level, a lot of the EPA regulations are getting rolled back, so I think the model is kind of changing now. We’re doing a bottom up model where we’re doing what we can locally for the environment,” said James Reichenbach, Lancaster council president.

A resolution will be voted on at the city’s council meeting this week, that, if passed, would encourage businesses to steer away from plastic bags and make the switch the paper or reusable bags.

So far, at least ten businesses, including Character’s Gastropub, are already on board.

“I personally detest plastic bags. I try to always use reusable bags when I go shopping. So it kind of makes no sense at all that I’m using them in my business,” said Young.

Young says as soon as her supply of plastic bags runs out, she will make the switch to paper.

They are a bit more expensive, but she says it is worth it.

“If it becomes an initiative here, which eventually turns into a lull, and the more places that adopt it, it will drive the cost of those items down,” said Young.

If passed, it is important to note the resolution is non-binding, meaning businesses are encouraged, but not forced to comply.

“We’re looking forward in the future. This isn’t the only stop. The goal is to get the ball rolling, get the conversation started, be proactive,” said Reichenbach.

The Lancaster City Council will vote on the measure on Tuesday.

Plastic bag bans are already happening in several major cities across the country.

Some places are even beginning to ban other types of potentially harmful plastic, such as straws.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.