PITTSBURGH – More than 100 Pittsburgh-based companies and organizations have signed a letter to city council advocating a ban on single-use plastic bags.
The cause was championed by environmental group PennEnvironment, who wrote the letter after reaching out to community advocates explaining the benefits of removing plastic pollution.
“A bag that we use for five minutes shouldn’t pollute our environment and endanger our health for centuries to come, especially if there are good alternatives that serve the same purpose,” said Deputy Director Ashleigh Deemer during a virtual message conference on Wednesday.
Arlan Hess, owner of City Books on the North Side, was among the other speakers. She said her second hand bookstore already uses paper bags. The company name is stamped on each one, which serves as a walking advertisement and cuts marketing costs, she said.
“Many companies might feel that a plastic bag ban will be a financial distress, and I am here to say it doesn’t,” said Hess.
Jacqueline Stone, owner of the Phoenix Boutique in Lawrenceville, also signed the letter and also sells paper bags in her shop.
“It’s important,” she told us. “It adds up.”
The owners hope that city council leaders will take the letter to heart.
“I would hope to see it because if everyone does their part the reduction will get smaller and the hope of containing it will grow bigger,” said Stone.
Councilor Erika Strassburger told Channel 11 that she intends to introduce plastic curb laws this fall and is expecting “broad support” from other council members.
According to her office, the legislation will “limit the use of plastic bags within the city of Pittsburgh, with exceptions in certain cases.” There will be a six-month implementation phase “to give companies time to adapt to the legislation and involve the public in the changes”.