Narberth is the first town in Pennsylvania to pass a bill restricting the use of single-use plastic straws at eateries and the handing out of plastic bags at stores.
The rule — passed this week — will go into effect in 60 days. Once enacted, shoppers who request a plastic bag at stores and grocers in the Montgomery County town will be charged 10 cents per bag.
Restaurants will also be barred from handing out plastic straws with beverages, unless one is asked for. Straws will not be taxed since some people with disabilities may require one to drink.
"Just makes people stop and think: Do I really need it?" Narberth mayor Andrea Deutsch said Friday.
The ordinance follows trends in other municipalities to limit single-use plastics. Several Jersey Shore towns recently added a plastic bag fee while Atlantic County, New Jersey, bars visitors to its parks from using plastic straws or bags. Cities like San Francisco, California, and Seattle, Washington, have banned plastic drinking straws and other take out containers. The bans come amid growing concern about plastic pollution in creeks, rivers, and the ocean.
Narberth's plastic prohibition has caught the attention of two state lawmakers who'd like to expand part of the measure statewide.
State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) and Rep. Mary Jo Daley (D-Montgomery) said Friday they've introduced legislation to prohibit Pennsylvania businesses and restaurants from handing out single-use plastic straws without a customer's request.
If it were to become law, businesses could face fines up to $2,000 for three or more violations.