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Statewide fee on plastic bags proposed in Pennsylvania

By: Jeremy Carroll

September 19, 2013

A proposal to place a statewide 2-cent fee on plastic bags in Pennsylvania has moved to a committee, where it likely faces an uphill battle.

Senate Bill 1080 was sent to the finance committee, and is one of 10 bills awaiting action from the committee. Introduced by Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, the bill proposes the retailer keep 1 cent and the state would keep the other cent to fund state recycling programs.

“Two cents is a small price to pay for a cleaner, more vibrant planet,” Leach said in a statement. “However, our goal is not to collect the fee, but to encourage shoppers to make sustainable choices at the checkout counter.”

The fee would not apply to reusable bags, plastic bags used to bundle produce or compostable carryout bags.

The bill may have a difficult time in the finance committee, which includes seven Republicans and four Democrats.