Due to extremely cold conditions, the City is implementing special measures to keep people who are homeless safe. If you see someone who needs shelter, call (215) 232-1984.
In effect: 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 14 until further notice
COVID-19: Learn how to stay safe, get vaccinated, and find testing. Visit phila.gov/covid.

Plastic bag ban

Reducing single-use plastic waste and improving the environmental quality and cleanliness of our city.


Philadelphia’s plastic bag ban prohibits retail establishments from providing single-use plastic bags and paper bags that do not meet certain requirements.

Philadelphians use about a billion plastic bags each year. Unless properly disposed of, many of these bags become litter in our streets, waterways, and commercial corridors. The plastic bag ban will help reduce single-use plastic waste and improve the environmental quality and cleanliness of our city.

While legislation banning plastic bags passed in December 2019, the City delayed implementation of the ban due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the business community—particularly small businesses. See the timeline below for details.

You can learn more about the plastic bag ban by reading our frequently asked questions. You can also download flyers and signage to print and post.


1515 Arch St.
13th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Email sustainability@phila.gov



July, 1 2021

Implementation begins.

July 31, 2021

Retail establishments are required to post clear and visible signage at all points of sale. These signs will tell customers that the establishment will no longer provide single-use plastic bags and non-recycled content paper bags as of the date the prohibition begins. You can download signs in multiple languages.

October 1, 2021

Prohibition of single-use plastic bags and non-recycled content paper bags begins.


April 1, 2022

The City will fully enforce the ban.

See full timeline

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