Bag Ban a New Worry as Demand Outpaces Supply

By: Mya Koch
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You own a restaurant business. It’s been a tough go. A year and a half that you’d rather soon forget — and you are stunned that your popular spot even survived.

Now, as you open back up to throngs of foodies happy to see you again, you’ve got another issue: packaging. There are shortages growing across the country of the resins, glues, cardboard and other raw materials needed for the factories to turn out your supplies.

The boxes, bags and cups you use to serve your guests are at a premium right now – if you can get them at all. It’s frustrating for you; it’s frustrating for us here at, because we want you, the restaurant owner, to have all the stuff you need to keep your customers fed and happy.

The shortages have been their worst in bakery boxes and paper bread / shopping bags. And now, a new wrinkle may make it difficult for those of you who use plastic to-go bags, too.

As landfills overflow and environmental concerns grow, more and more, states are banning the distribution of single-use plastics. For a time during the height of the pandemic, shoppers were not permitted to bring their own re-usable bags to the grocery store. But now, the tide has shifted to just the opposite.

Many companies and legislative bodies across the country are no longer using, or allowing, single-use plastic bags. For example, in resort towns along the East Coast – from Maine to South Carolina – Wal-Mart stores are not handing out plastic bags at all.

plastic grocery bags

We think about how that will impact our clients across the nation.

In Pennsylvania, for example, a ban may not be far off now that the rules have changed. Since 2019, according to an article in the July 1 edition of Pittsburgh’s City Paper, the Pennsylvania General Assembly had a pre-emption on bans or fees relating to single-use plastics, barring municipalities from implementing their own bans or fees.

But when the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed its 2021-22 state budget on June 25, language extending the pre-emption was not included. What does that mean? Cities, townships and boroughs may be able to implement and enforce ordinances related to single-use plastic as early as Dec. 8, 2021.

According to the article, officials in the Pittsburgh region already are indicating that they will create a plastic bag ban. Councilor Erika Strassburger told Spotlight PA that the Steel City already had begun plans to issue a ban before it knew the pre-emption would expire and now, it has a clearer timeline of when it can happen. And in May, Pittsburgh City Council passed a resolution in support of wanting to implement a plastic bag ban.


In Philadelphia, the decision to allow the pre-emption to expire comes on the heels of a lawsuit filed March 3 by the City of Philadelphia, the boroughs of West Chester and Narberth, and Lower Merion Township. Joining later were PennEnvironment, the Clean Air Council and the City of Pittsburgh. The suit asked Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court to declare the General Assembly’s single-use plastics pre-emption in violation of the state’s constitution.

Beginning in December, municipalities will be able to limit, ban or place fees on single-use plastics such as bags, straws and foam take-out containers.

Restaurant and store owners already struggling may be facing more difficulty with supplies to meet demand if these types of bans go into effect across the country.

Luckily, MrTakeOutBags has a vast catalogue of other packaging options to get you through these unprecedented supply struggles.

Non woven totes

From a large variety of sizes of paper shopping and carry-out bags to re-usable grocery bags to earth-friendly biodegradable wave bags, we’ve got it covered. (Check it out here

The biodegradable poly bags we offer are an earth-friendly option to all those blue plastic bags that seem to wind up in our neighborhood trees.

biodegradable plastic takeout bags

These are, indeed, unusual and difficult times, but change brings good. As we all join in an effort to save our planet, all of you discover new ways to present your wares to your customers – and we, in turn, find new ways to help you do that in an effective and stylish way.

Featured Image Credit: Jilson Tiu / Greenpeace

Thank you for reading. We welcome your ideas for this blog. Please leave a comment with any ideas or topics!

Mya L Koch is a Sales Order Specialist for who has vast experience as a journalist, writer and editor for publications such as The Wilmington Star-News and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, where she managed staffs of young writers and photographers and helmed daily, monthly and annual publications seen throughout the region. Her writings have been published in magazines, newspapers and most recently in a hard-cover book for the national Bring Music Home initiative. She has extensive experience as an editor, manager and in retail sales. She welcomes your ideas and suggestions for her blog post as part of the BABCOR Packaging / team.

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