Western Brooklyn

First Official Notices Sent Out To City Stores For Controversial Plastic Bag Bill

Source: katerha via flickr
Source: katerha via flickr

Last week stores citywide began receiving the first official notices reminding them that, as of February 15, 2017, they will need to charge customers five-cents for all plastic bags. The notice reads, as per a photo of it published on the Brooklyn Eagle:

Pursuant to New York City law, all carryout bags provided by this store to a customer, with limited exceptions, shall be subject to a fee of not less than five cents ($0.05) per bag.

Carryout bags brought by customers into this store to carry purchased goods from this store shall not be subject to a fee.

The City Council’s controversial plastic bag fee legislation — which passed on May 5 — was initially intended to start in October but became held up in Albany thanks to opposition from state legislators, who call the fee a “tax on the poor” targeting lower income residents, the elderly, and others on fixed-incomes.

The bill is intended to cut New Yorker’s reliance on environmentally hazardous single-use shopping bags, of which New Yorkers contribute roughly 10 billion bags to landfills every year, according to the Department of Sanitation.

The legislation stirred fierce controversy in the City Council, where it narrowly passed 28-20. Debate raged between pro-bag fee Council Member Brad Lander, representing Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, and Boro Park; and anti-bag fee Council Member Chaim Deutsch, representing sections of Midwood, Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay. The fee was opposed by council members in our area as well, including David Greenfield, Mark Treyger, and Vincent Gentile who voted against the legislation.

[H/t: Brooklyn Eagle]

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  1. This doesn’t have to be so traumatic. Believe it or not, there was a time when we didn’t have plastic bags. We used paper or whatever cloth bags we had. It’ll just take a little adjusting and things will be fine. There’s a lot of other real problems to worry about.

  2. The only problem I have is why are these stores allowed to keep the monies generated by these plastic bags, it should go to environmental issues. To those complaining about the charge, when you buy soda you get charged $.05 per bottle and this doesn’t stop you from buying the soda now does it?

  3. Why is this bill even passed? What are people going to use for their garbage? Are we going to go out & buy expensive “Plastic Bags” that will cause the same problems. Leave it our nutty city council to not looking into the future. No one ever thinks down the road when passing laws

  4. Does no one reuse these bags as trash bags? Its cheaper to pay the 5 cents for these bags than to buy dedicated trash bags.

  5. I agree. That money should go towards environmental issues, not kept by the stores. If you don’t want to pay the 5 cents, there’s all sorts of options out there. Canvas bags, the heavy duty ones sold in the stores that carry heavy groceries (better than the plastic ones do), even pocket versions that fold us small, for quick trips to the store for only a few things. As for “how will we throw out our garbage?”, don’t you remember in your grandparents day, there used to be small pails that had to be emptied every day? Much like our bigger, plastic garbage pails in the kitchen these days. Long ago, there were no plastic bags lining these. Plastic bags for kitchen pails came out as a way of keeping them clean so they’d need less washing.

  6. We cannot throw out garbage right into the chute it must be in some type of bag. Why don’t they find environmentaly safe bags? We don’t empty pails ,& feed insects Common sense is rare these days it seems.

  7. We used paper bags provided free of charge. This will hit the poor, not the crowd at Whole Foods. It will also hurt many stores. Right now, people go to the store for a few items and come home with bags and bags of impulse purchases. That will end if they have to know in advance that they need 20 bags instead of 2.

    My solution is simple. I can bulk buy plastic shopping bags online for 1-2 cents each, and keep the box in my car. It will save me lots of money, put no “poor tax” into the store’s bottom line, and I’ll still have an ample supply for all the usual reasons I reuse shopping plastic bags.

  8. I was calmly, without insulting anyone, explaining how people dealt with garbage disposal before plastic bags arrived on the scene, to show that it is still possible, if we use some creative thinking……and common sense.

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