After three failed attempts in the last 12 years, Philadelphia is close to banning single-use plastic bags. But the effort has lost some of its key supporters: environmental groups that have long lobbied for regulation of the bags. A City Council committee approved the ban on plastic bags last month. But lawmakers also removed a proposed 15-cent fee for other types of bags after Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration raised concerns that the fee, which would have been charged to shoppers, would disproportionately affect poor residents. Environmentalists say that could backfire by failing to encourage consumers to bring their own reusable bags. “The fee was an important part because at the point of sale it creates an additional disincentive for the consumer to take the bag,” said David Masur, executive director of PennEnvironment. Without a fee on paper and other types of bags, Masur and other environmentalists fear, plastic pollution could increase, because retailers could distribute thick plastic bags that are not banned under the legislation and are even more harmful. Overall grocery bills could also rise, Masur said, because retailers would not be able to recoup the cost of altern...