2021 Bag Ban Update

Sepia tone of pedestrian carrying plastic bags with caption about Bag Ban Update

Reviewing What We Learned and Looking Ahead

The disposable plastic bag ban movement sustained some setbacks, but things are back on track. As we look back over the last year, there were a lot of exciting developments. New bag bans went into action, and several existing bans were reinstated. A significant and continued trend for 2021 was bag bans implemented at the state level, and there are also a lot of exciting developments in store for 2022. You can learn all about the bag ban movement as news breaks on our bag ban map.

Today, we’re covering the significant milestones from the bag ban movement during 2021 and looking ahead to what to expect in the New Year!

States Make It Official

Washington’s plastic bag ban finally went into effect on October 1, 2021. The ban experienced some setbacks after being scheduled to go into action on January 1, 2021.

Delaware also implemented a state-wide plastic bag ban. The ban in Delaware started on January 1, 2021. Officials have already passed a measure to update the ban to prohibit thicker plastic bags. The updated version of the ban will become effective in July 2022.

Final Phase in Connecticut

Connecticut passed a state-wide bag ban back in 2019. The plan called to roll the ban out in phases to give businesses and residents time to adjust. A plastic bag fee was imposed in August 2019. The fee gave way to a ban on July 1, 2021.

Garden State Going Green

New Jersey will join the plastic-free ranks on May 4, 2022, when it implements what has been called one of the most comprehensive bag bans in the country. An earlier version of the state-wide ban failed to pass because officials felt it was not strong enough.

Colorado Preparing to Go Plastic-Free

Officials in Colorado passed a measure that will ban disposable plastic bags throughout the Centennial State. Several cities and towns in Colorado have passed bag bans and fees on their own. There has been resistance to some of these measures. The state-wide plastic bag ban will be implemented in phases and will be fully in place by 2024.

Philadelphia Bag Ban

Talk of banning disposable plastic bags in Philadelphia has been in the works for years, but various setbacks got in the way. A 2017 proposal in Pennsylvania called to block municipalities from passing laws regulating plastic bags. The governor ultimately vetoed the measure, which cleared the way for bag bans like Philadelphia’s, implemented on July 1, 2021.

What’s Old is New Again

Several existing plastic bag bans were put on hold in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. There were a lot of unknowns at the start of the pandemic, and many municipalities opted to suspend bans until more information was available. Health officials have confirmed that reusable bags are safe, so many measures were reinstated. Bag bans in California and Massachusetts were reinstated as well as bans in Aspen, Colorado; Morris, New Jersey; Edwardsville, Illinois, and more.

Bag Fees Coming to Parts of Virginia

Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, and Roanoke passed laws levying a fee on single-use plastic bags. The passage of these fees comes after a state law allowing local municipalities to pass laws imposing bag fees.

Stay Connected

We’re excited to share these developments with you, and we look forward to what lies ahead for the bag ban movement. We have been tracking the activity for years, and you can always stay in the know by checking out our bag ban map! Please let us know if there are any locations to add to the map.

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