Single-Use Product Ordinance

Background 

In October of 2018, Narberth Borough became the first municipality in the state of Pennsylvania to enact an ordinance restricting plastic bags and straws. Since then, municipalities all across the state have passed similar regulations. 

On September 21, 2023, Narberth Borough Council adopted an amendment to its existing Single-Use Product Ordinance to include restriction of non-recycled paper bags, Styrofoam and other expanded polystyrene products, and plastic utensils. The amendment was drafted in collaboration with the Narberth EAC. 

The amended ordinance will go into effect September 3, 2024. View the Amended Ordinance.

Overview  

  • Narberth businesses are prohibited from providing single-use plastic bags and new non-recycled paper bags to customers, including retail and takeout deliveries. 
  • Narberth businesses are prohibited from providing Styrofoam or other expanded polystyrene products to their customers. 
  • Businesses can provide customers a compliant recycled paper bag (contains a minimum 40% recycled content) or a reusable bag, for a 10¢ minimum fee.  
  • Businesses will no longer automatically provide disposable plastic utensils, except upon request of the customer, and with a minimum fee of 10 cents per utensil or set of utensils. 
  • The ordinance will go into effect on September 3, 2024
  • A business that violates or fails to comply with the ordinance requirements will receive an initial written warning notice. Subsequent violations will be subject to potential fines.  

Business Owners and Vendors 

As part of the amended Single-Use Product Ordinance, businesses are required to display temporary signage at their location to notify customers of the ordinance. The signage shall be displayed prominently at all points of sale. 

Narberth Borough has drafted a Notification Flier for vendor use. Hard copies of the flier can be obtained from the Borough Office during open hours of Monday through Friday from 9 am to 3 pm.  

  • Businesses can opt out of the minimum fee for compliant recycled paper bags and reusable bags for prepaid takeout orders or deliveries only. 
  • Minimum fees must be stated on a receipt to the customer at the time of sale.  
  • Minimum fees cannot be waived, unless the customer is paying with an EBT card, SNAP voucher, WIC, or similar government assistance program related to retail food purchases 
  • Businesses are permitted to provide customers with a previously used paper bag, at no charge 
  • Businesses cannot provide plastic straws to customers, except upon request  

Enforcement of the amended ordinance starts October 1, 2024. Businesses that fail to comply after an initial written warning shall be subject to the fines below, plus court costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by the Borough through enforcement proceedings: 

Fines for non-compliance after an initial written warning are as follows: 

  • Fine of $100 for a first offense within 12 months of written warning 
  • Fine of $200 for a second offense, occurring within 12 months of the first offense 
  • Fine of $500 for a third or any subsequent offense, occurring within 12 months of the immediately prior offense 

Narberth may apply for a hardship extension of up to one year to use up existing supplies, by submitting a written request to the Borough Manager. See Section 388-10 of Ordinance to see what circumstances would qualify for such an exemption. 

For any questions, please reach out to Assistant Borough Manager, Alan Guzzardo at aguzzardo@narberthpa.gov.  

Resources