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Kudos for passing plastic bag legislation

October 22, 2021

Delaware HB212 was signed into law by Gov. John Carney Sept. 30 and becomes effective July 1, 2022.

This act provides a phased-in approach to further the reduction of single-use plastic bags. It increases the minimum thickness for a plastic bag to qualify as a reusable bag from 2.25 mils to 10 mils effective Jan. 1, 2022 and expands the restrictions to all stores regardless of size effective July 1, 2022.

The intent of this legislation is to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the environment harming animals, causing blight in our communities, beaches and waterways, clogging stormwater and sewer systems, and ultimately entering our food chain as toxic particles consumed by humans.  Let’s promote the use of truly reusable and biodegradable bags for all our shopping needs as part of a shift toward a zero-waste future.

House Bill 212, as amended, was passed in June by the Delaware House and Senate.  Special thanks are extended to the primary sponsors and leaders on the legislation, Rep. Gerald Brady, Rep. Valerie Longhurst, Rep. Eric Morrison, and Sen. Kyle Gay.  HB212 closes the inadvertent loophole created when 2019’s HB130 law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2021, allowing plastic bags greater than 2.25 mils thick. 

It now clarifies the definition of truly reusable bags, largely by the definition including requisite stitched handles following the model set by neighboring New Jersey.  HB212 also expands the law to all size stores and not just the largest retailers.  It will take effect July 1, 2022.

More information can be found here, plasticfreedelaware.org/bags.

Questions? Contact deedurham@dca.net.

Dee Durham
Plastic Free Delaware
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