ARE ANY SINGLE USE PLASTIC BAGS EXEMPT FROM THE ORDINANCE?
Single use plastic bags used by the following are still allowed under the Ordinance:
- Product bags – very thin bags (without handles) used to wrap foods to prevent contamination (e.g. bags found in the meat or produce section of grocery stores)
- Newspaper bags – bags used in the home delivery of newspapers and/or circulars
- Bags sold in packages containing multiple bags intended for use as food storage bags, garbage bags, or pet waste bags
- Laundry/dry cleaning bags
WHAT HAPPENS IF A CUSTOMER DOESN’T BRING A RESUSEABLE BAG INTO MY BUSINESS?
The business can offer a compliant bag (as defined by the Ordinance, for example – a paper bag) but must charge a fee of at least $.10 per bag and the fee must be shown on the customer’s receipt. The fee is then retained by the business to offset the cost of bag stock.
ARE ANY BUSINESSES EXEMPT FROM CHARGING A FEE FOR A COMPLIANT BAG?
Only restaurant establishments can opt out of charging a fee of at least $.10 for a compliant bag in cases of take out or prepared food delivery.
AS A FOOD SERVICE COMPANY, DO I DECLINE A CUSTOMER WHO ASKS FOR A SINGLE USE PLASTIC STRAW?
No, if the customer asks for a single use plastic straw, the food service company must provide the straw to the customer without question or cost. This is because there are medical conditions that require the use of a straw for drinking purposes.
WHO WILL ENFORCE THIS ORDINANCE?
Enforcement of the Ordinance will be under the direction of the Code Enforcement Department and the Township Manager.
ARE THERE FINES FOR NON-COMPLIANCE?
The Ordinance allows for an initial written warning and then monetary fines from $100 to $500 per violation.
HOW CAN I REPORT A NON-COMPLIANT BUSINESS?
Reports of non-compliance can be reported to the Township at 610-446-1000 or by email to: email@example.com or fill out the online form here
WHO DO I CONTACT WITH QUESTIONS ON THIS ORDINANCE?
Questions will be handled by calling the Township at 610-446-1000 or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW CAN A BUSINESS MAKE THIS TRANSITION?
- Place the Township’s promotional poster in your storefront windows so customers know it’s the law
- Make compliant bags available for sale with your business logo
- Stock up on compliant bags under the Ordinance for those customers who do not bring their own
- Establish your business policy and price for providing compliant bags to customers who do not bring their own AND explicitly have signage showing the price per bag being charged (minimum $.10 per bag)
- Adjust cash register/POS settings for the bag fee to be separately displayed on the customer receipt
- Replace plastic straws with certified compostable straws
- Replace plastic stirrers with wood-made, grass-made or certified compostable stirrers
- Keep checking back to the Resource Center for updates to FAQ at www.havtwp.org/Plastics_Free
WHAT IF MY BUSINESS DIDN’T RECEIVE A STOREFRONT POSTER OR WE NEED A REPLACEMENT. CAN I OBTAIN ANOTHER FROM THE TOWNSHIP?
The Township has a limited supply of extra posters. Please visit the Township Building Monday – Friday 8am – 4pm.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR OBTAINING A 1-YEAR HARDSHIP EXEMPTION?
A business may apply, in writing, to the Township Manager for a 1-year hardship exemption from compliance with the Ordinance. A hardship would only be considered if the business demonstrated a unique set of circumstances or situations which prevent any reasonable alternative to single use plastic bags, straws or stirrers.
Hardship exemption applications must be received by the Township Manager no later than December 1, 2022 to be effective for January 2, 2023.