PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It may soon cost you for a plastic bag in Philadelphia as the city is looking to become one of many big cities to crack down on plastic bag usage. Councilmember Mark Squilla introduced a bill on Tuesday that would ban all single-use plastic bags in the city.
The bill would also require a 15-cent fee for other kinds of bags, including those made of paper or compostable material.
“Plastic is a bane to the environment so therefore it should be banned as a bane to the environment,” Philadelphian Barry Brait said.
While many see the environmental need for such a ban, others hope eliminating plastic bag usage would cut down on littering as well.
“Especially where I live at, North Philly. When you come outside, there’s trash all over the place. Like you can’t go outside and the kids can’t play,” another resident said.
The city’s Licenses and Inspections Department heard arguments on both sides of the issue on Tuesday.
Big cities with bag regulations are growing.
Aly Wilson is visiting Philly from Portland, Oregon, where strict laws are already in place.
“They’re still offered in a lot of places, but the town I live in is in the suburbs and they’re actually charging 10 cents for paper bags now and they don’t even offer plastic bags at all stores,” Wilson said.
Philadelphia’s proposed 15 cents per bag fee does stand at the higher end as it relates to other cities.
Still, some say it’s worth it if it eliminates plastic bags.
“We have to. We only have one planet so we have to take care of it,” Brait said.
“I would love to see them gone,” Wilson said.