Single Use Plastics

Single-use materials are a momentary convenience that last a lifetime. Many plastics, even plant-based varieties, are not recyclable in curbside programs and do not biodegrade in landfills. Much of this waste instead slowly degrades into microplastics and enter our water, food, and air.

In July 2019 Borough Council approved an ordinance banning single use plastic bags and straws in West Chester, effective July 2020. Enforcement of this ordinance was delayed by the Governor's covid-19 state of emergency orders in March 2020, but will commence as soon as permissible.

The ordinance bans the distribution by commercial establishments of plastic bags and drinking straws within the Borough. Paper bags are permitted as an alternative, but must consist of recycled content and be either recyclable or compostable, and establishments are required to charge and disclose a 10 cent fee on each bag provided to customers, to encourage customers to bring their own bag and avoid using unnecessary ones. The ordinance does not apply to product packaging or bags used to wrap raw food products, such as produce, cheese and meats.

Click here to read the single-use waste ordinance. 

Businesses with unique challenges may request an exemption by petitioning the Borough's Sustainability Committee.

Click to Join Sustainable Storefronts! Opens in new window

Join the Borough's Sustainable Storefronts recognition program today to have your business recognized for leadership on this important issue!

How to Participate

Restaurants, Bars, and Cafes - Choose 3 of 5

  • Use recyclable paper bags for takeout

  • No plastic straws - biodegradable option by request

  • No Styrofoam

  • No plastic takeout containers

  • 100% reusable wares for on-site dining

Retail - commit to all

  • Use recyclable paper bags

  • Encourage customers to BYO bags

thank you to the following businesses for joining sustainable storefronts!

Roots Cafe
Kaly Clothing
Gryphon Cafe
D'Ascenzo's Gelato
The Shop on Market St
Kildare's Pub

Meatball U
Dia Doce
Bryn Mawr Running Company
Dolce Zola
The 5 Senses
Gemelli Gelato
West Chester Co-Op
Eclat Chocolate
Malena's Vintage Boutique