Plastic Bag Ban Coming to Delaware in 2021?


Plastic bag stuck in tree

Anya B. '23, Reporter

     Plastic bags have been in our environment for years. In grocery stores, the mall, and even our oceans. Plastic bags for years have polluted the ocean and the environment. California, Hawaii, and New York have been the only states to ban plastic bags.

     In 2016, the state of California banned single use plastic bags and charged 10 cents for reusable bags. One year later, the Los Angeles Times explained the conditions of California after the ban:
“In the end, this momentous change was not a big deal. Shoppers did not revolt or launch recall campaigns against state lawmakers. Food still gets to people’s houses. Reusable bags did not spark an epidemic of food-borne illnesses, as some critics suggested they would. Consumers didn’t go broke paying 10 cents apiece for the thicker, reusable plastic bags stores are allowed to distribute instead.”

     Delaware is now next on the list for the ban of plastic bags and add a fee to them. On July 29, 2019, at the Christiana Riverfront, Governor John Carney signed House Bill 130, which bans single use of plastic bags.

     House Bill 130 states, “On January 1, 2021 this bill enacts a ban on stores providing single-use plastic bags at check-out.”
     Carney was pleased to sign the bill. On April 30, Carney launched an initiative to “Keep DE Litter Free.” When asked about his signing, Carney said, “We live in a beautiful state. We should keep it that way. One of the best ways we can take pride in our communities is to keep them clean.”

     While, Delaware is banning plastic bags, paper bags will not be an option. State Senator Stephanie Hansen was asked about this. “Our goal is not to get people to switch to paper, we want people to switch to reusable bags, so we’re not quite there yet because there is no fee on paper. A lot of the national chains know that these laws are coming all across the country, and they’re proactively making the switch,” said Hansen.

     The switch is coming in just a little under two years, which means a change in our environment, and according to Carney, “These new laws will help us protect Delaware communities from litter, protect our environment, and protect Delaware wildlife.”