Used plastic grocery bags could become as valuable as used soda cans under an option being discussed between city and state officials, THE NEW YORK POST REPORTS. The city was ready to start imposing a nickel bag fee on shoppers as of Oct. 1, with the money kept by merchants, until lawmakers in the state Senate rebelled and passed a bill blocking the move.
The POST reports that before the Senate bill got to the floor of the Assembly, Speaker Carl Heastie made a deal with his counterpart in the City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito, who got the bill passed, to delay action until February — effectively putting the entire matter off until after the November elections.
“There are a number of ways they can do it but the money can’t go to grocery stores and can’t hurt consumers, especially in poor, minority areas,” said one source. “They may do something like the bottle tax.” That means shoppers could return the bags to get their nickels back, just like they do for beverage bottles and cans.