Carlisle Borough has launched a partnership with Dickinson College and Widener University Commonwealth Law School to investigate options for dealing with single-use plastics.
“It’s an important topic for us to start the conversation about, bring to the community and also see what resources are needed to further this discussion,” councilman Sean Crampsie said.
A prohibition against municipalities enacting bans against single-use plastic bags expired on July 1 after the state Legislature adjourned for the summer without renewing a one-year ban that had been inserted into budget legislation in 2019. The ban had been extended in 2020 for an additional year.
“We do view this issue of single-use plastics as being both important to some of our goals, but also of potential impact to pretty much every person in the borough,” borough councilman Joel Hicks said.
Students from Dickinson and Widener will conduct an informal policy analysis to look at past approaches to the use of single-use plastics and their results as well as how the community would view different types of activities.
Assistant Borough Manager Owen Snyder said the students will specifically look at a ban on plastic bags, a fee for the use of plastic bags or a combination of both. They will also investigate incentives designed to modify behavior regarding the use of single-use plastic as well as education initiatives. Taking no action is also an avenue that would be explored.
Snyder said they hope to have a plan available for discussion by May 2022.
“There’s no cookie cutter best approach for any one municipality. Every municipality is different and there have been different approaches that worked well,” Hicks said.
Crampsie said it is a process and no one will be left out, including business owners.
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