A new bill announced yesterday on the steps of City Hall aims to rid New York City of…plastic bags. Under the proposed legislation, retail and grocery stores would charge consumers at least 10 cents per plastic bag used. Though the same charge would also be levied upon paper bags, the bill’s sponsors made it clear in a press conference that the real target was those flimsy plastic bags we see everywhere.
At the moment, New Yorkers use 5.2 billion carryout bags per year, and the city spends about $10 million annually to transport 100,000 tons of plastic bags to landfills in other states. The bill’s architects, including Council Members Brad Lander and Margaret Chin, are hoping the legislation’s effects will mirror those seen in other major cities. They cited results seen in Washington, D.C. and LA, noting that those places saw their plastic bag usage decline by 60% and 95% respectively.
Lander and Chin were also joined by members of various environmental and neighborhood groups, including the Citizens Committee For New York City and the New York League of Conservation Voters. Activists were on hand with home-made signs, trumpeting slogans like “10 cents makes sense” and “Only vampires should be this thin and last hundreds of years!” One environmental advocate noted that when his group conducts beach clean ups around the city, about three-quarters of the waste collected is plastic.
Read more at GOTHAMIST.