That’s when the statewide plastic carryout bag ban is set to take effect, which will have an impact on every single New Yorker. Businesses, such as supermarkets and your local grocer, will also begin collecting a five-cent fee on paper bags.
While the plastic bag ban may be a major inconvenience for many people, especially seniors and low-income New Yorkers, it’s a necessity if we want to seriously tackle climate change.
Residents across the state use 23 billion plastic bags annually, including 10 billion per year in the city. Every year, the Department of Sanitation collects 91,000 tons of plastic and paper bags.
You see them frequently clogging storm drains, stuck on tree branches and scattered on sidewalks. Environmentalists don’t like plastic bags because they’re made from fossil fuels.
Instead of plastic and paper bags, city officials want residents to use reusable bags, which DSNY is handing out throughout the city over the next few weeks. You can also find them at your local community board or elected official’s office.
Residents should be able to make the switch without a problem. Just remember to put a reusable bag in your backpack the next time you head to the supermarket to buy groceries.
While the plastic bag is a state policy, the city has an important role to play in continuing to educate residents about why it’s important to the environment.
DSNY should aim to hand out reusable bags to as many New York City residents as they can to make the transition as smooth as possible. Businesses should also inform and encourage customers to convert to reusable bags.
Together, we as a city can make the transition seamlessly.