Local customers and business owners have supported Bethlehem’s move away from single-use plastic bags and are looking for a better, environmentally-friendly alternative.
Bethlehem’s Environmental Advisory Committee proposed to put a fee on plastic bags with the intention of ultimately banning them. Nearby municipalities like Narbeth in Montgomery County have imposed 10-cent fees on every plastic bag administered.
After neighboring cities and states have implemented this legislation, Bethlehem’s Environmental Advisory Committee wants to urge the city council to work toward a ban on plastic bags in businesses.
“Change is always good, and people adapt,” said Franklin Rodriguez, general manager and appointer of C-Town Supermarket on East Third Street.
Rodriguez said it is a hassle to order almost 240 cases of bags every two weeks for the supermarket.
Aaliyah Fallstich, a cashier for the Taylor Family Fuel and Mini Market located on New Street, said plastic bags are a waste.
“It doesn’t cost the business to buy them anyway, so getting rid of them would be beneficial,” Fallstich said.
Rodriguez, who has worked at C-Town for six years, said people would likely continue shopping with reusable bags, and the store would consider selling the bags if plastic bags were banned.
“The same companies that supply us with plastic bags might supply reusable bags (if they go) in demand,” Rodriguez said.
Customers see the potential ban as positive as well.
“I agree that plastic bags are not good for the planet,” Santa Matos, a frequent customer of C-Town, said.
When Matos grew up in Puerto Rico, she said she never used plastic bags but used a reusable bag that she had made herself.
“Honestly, they should ban plastic bags for the whole world,” C-Town customer Jasmin Cardona said. She, too, is in favor of using reusable bags.
C-Town serves as the primary supermarket for many local residents. The choice to support the potential ban will have a significant environmental impact within the Bethlehem community.