Governor John Carney joined members of the General Assembly and environmental advocates this afternoon to sign House Bill 130 and Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 5, two pieces of legislation aimed at confronting litter in Delaware. Both new laws will help protect Delaware communities from litter, and protect Delaware’s environment and wildlife from the harmful effects of discarded waste.
House Bill 130 will ban the use of single-use plastic bags and encourage a shift to reusable bags in Delaware. The existing requirements will continue, however stores subject to this program will now be limited from providing single-use plastic bags for only specific uses thereby encouraging a shift to reusable bags. On January 1, 2021 this bill enacts a ban on stores providing single-use plastic bags at check-out.
Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 5 will address the problem of individuals dumping large quantities of trash on public and private property by increasing penalties for unlawful dumping and creating a Litter Investigation and Enforcement Fund.
A person found guilty of littering must be punished by a fine of not less than $50 and up to 8 hours of community service for a first offense, and $75 and up to 25 hours of community service for a second offense within 2 years of the first offense.
A person found guilty of dumping must be punished by a fine of not less than $500 and not less than 8 hours of community service for a first offense, and a fine of not less than $1,000 and not less than 16 hours of community service for a second offense within 2 years of the first offense. Each instance of dumping constitutes a separate offense under this chapter.