City Council Hearing on Proposed Waste Legislation

On May 1, Councilmen Frank DiCicco and James Kenney will hold a hearing on legislation they have introduced to reduce waste in Philadelphia by banning plastic bags at all retailers or mandating a $.25 fee on plastic shopping bags, and prohibiting Styrofoam food packaging in favor of biodegradable/compostable or recyclable disposable food service ware. Plastic bags use up our finite natural resources such as oil, gas and coal in their production and transportation. They also fill up landfills, contributing to air and water pollution, and are a major source of litter in Philadelphia. Polystyrene also poses these problems, even though there are numerous biodegradable alternatives. 

Ways to Support Waste Reducing Legislation- 5 Easy Steps

1) Attend the May 1st City Council Hearing

Come to Council Chambers on May 1st at 10 a.m. with piles of plastic bag litter, signs, and most importantly other supporters! When Council Chambers are packed City Council members listen to our message. Can’t make it at 10 a.m.? Drop by on your lunch hour. Council hearings typically last a few hours, but it is important for us to show support and pack the chambers at the opening of the hearing at 10 a.m. RSVP at

2) Testify on May 1st or Submit Written Testimony

Tell City Council why YOU think Philadelphia needs these important bills to reduce waste, litter, and become a greener city. For information or facts visit Email your written testimony to or contact Sarah Sachdev at Councilman Kenney’s office at to testify in person on May 1st.

3) Tell City Council to Support this Legislation

Email your City Council district representative and at-large members through this simple online form. You can also call Council members and urge their support. Council members will be hearing from industry representatives who oppose these bills, so it’s important that they hear from you also!

4) Send Pictures of Plastic Bag and Styrofoam Waste and Litter

RecycleNOW will be collecting your pictures of plastic bags and Styrofoam litter across the city.  Tell us when and where the picture was taken and we will include it in a slide show that will be playing throughout the Council hearing. Email your pictures to

5) Bring Your Extra Re-useable Bags!

At the hearing on May 1, RecycleNOW Philadelphia will be holding a “reusable bag collection drive” to donate re-useable bags to those who feel they can’t afford one, and can’t afford the $.25 bag fee.

Links to Legislation

Food Service Waste Reduction Ordinance

Mandatory Use of Recycled and Compostable Checkout Bags

Advanced Recovery Fee (Green Fee) for Disposable Shopping Bags

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