Philadelphia delays plastic bag ban to 2021 amid COVID-19

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- During a news conference on Wednesday, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said the city is pushing back the effective date of the single-use plastic bag ban amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Kenney said the new effective date will be Jan. 1, 2021.

Philadelphia's single-use plastic bag ban passed the City Council and was signed into law in 2019. The law bans single-use plastic bags in retail establishments with certain exceptions.

Due to the city's ongoing response to COVID-19, the initial effective date of July 2, 2020, is no longer realistic, Kenney said.

Starting Feb. 1, businesses will be required to post signage informing the public of the ban, according to the city's website. On April 1, retail stores can no longer provide single-use plastic bags.

The change to the plastic bag ban comes as health officials announced 615 additional COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases to 10,643.

Health Commissioner Thomas Farley confirmed 29 additional fatalities in Philadelphia. Of the 423 total deaths, 220 (52%) were long-term care facility residents, he said.

As of Wednesday, there are 949 patients with COVID-19 who are currently being treated in Philadelphia hospitals, with a total of 1,824 people hospitalized in the region.
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