West Chester is hoping to send a message to Harrisburg with its recently enacted ban on plastic bags and straws, writes Emily Pontecorvo for WHYY.
The idea for the ban was originally brought to West Chester Borough Council by a group of middle school students at West Chester Friends School. They conducted surveys of residents and businesses before presenting their findings to the borough.
The ban had the full support of the council members before it unexpectedly became controversial a few weeks before the vote. A budget-related state bill was signed into law, and within it was a provision prohibiting towns like West Chester from regulating single-use plastic for one year.
Some of the council members wavered in their support, fearing a lawsuit if the ban was passed. However, after hearing impassioned speeches from members of the community, the council voted to pass the ban with one change: It would not be enacted until the state moratorium had ended.
“We feel accomplished, but there’s still a ways to go, and there’s other things that need to be done,” said Isaac Harte, one of the students who requested the ordinance.
Read more about West Chester’s ban of single-use plastic at WHYY here.