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Chester County Press

East Marlborough studies potential ban on single-use plastic bags, straws

04/11/2022 12:01AM ● By Steven Hoffman
East Marlborough supervisors will wait another month before possibly voting on a township-wide prohibition of single-use plastic carry-out bags and single-use plastic straws starting in 2023.
The supervisors held a public hearing April 4 to discuss adopting an ordinance that would affect commercial establishments from Wal-Mart to CVS to restaurants and grocery stores. But following some comments from residents and an indication from several supervisors that they needed more time, the hearing was continued until the May 2 meeting at 7 p.m. 
Should the supervisors vote to adopt the ordinance, it would go into effect Jan. 1, 2023 and prohibit commercial establishments from providing customers “with any single-use plastic bag or single-use plastic straw,” according to township Solicitor Ryan Jennings.
The topic was first discussed at the March meeting, where supervisors’ Chairman Robert McKinstry called plastic waste “a major issue. It’s also a big litter problem.” He mentioned the township’s Environmental Advisory Council had recommended adopting a ban.
Supervisor Kathryn Monahan, who said she would object to the proposed ordinance, asked at the April meeting whether six months would be enough time for local businesses to adapt. McKinstry explained about a provision in the ordinance that would allow businesses to apply for up to a year’s extension if they are left with supplies of single-use bags and single-use straws when the ordinance might go into effect.
“This isn’t intended to have people throw things out,” he said.
Supervisor John Sarro said the owners of Hood’s BBQ in Unionville have already been doing what the proposed ordinance seeks to do since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Supervisors’ Vice Chairman Burling Vannote said the Starbucks, in the Shoppes at Longwood Village, already uses straws made out of compostable materials.
“I think a lot of big businesses are headed this way,” Vannote said.

In other business, the supervisors:
~ Held an executive session on legal matters on March 7. They also held an executive session following the April 4 meeting on legal and personnel matters.
~ Granted a temporary permit to Kennett Run Charities for the annual Kennett Run on Saturday, May 7.
~ Approved four bids relating to the public works department. They approved the $49,605 bid for line painting from Alpha Space Control Co., the $42,081.75 bid for stone from Allan Myers Materials PA; the $11,960 bid for road oils from AMS; and the $53,353.60 bid for fuel from Dixieland Energy. All the prices reflect approximately a 20 percent increase, something Public Works Director Jeff Simpson said was allotted for in the planning.