Everything You Need to Know About the New York Plastic Bag Ban
You can't deny the impact plastic bags have on the environment. Walk the streets of NYC and you will see at least a couple of plastic bags on the side of the street or even in the trees. Plastic bags can easily be swept into the water on a windy day.
Well, get your reusable bags while you can! Starting March 1st, New York's ban on single-use plastic bags will be in full swing. New York is the third state after California and Hawaii to put this ban in place.
What is the purpose of this law?
According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, "23 billion plastic bags are typically used each year." The Bag Waste Reduction Law was passed last March with the goal of cutting down plastic waste and the impact it has on the environment.
One of the biggest issues with plastic bags is they aren't being correctly disposed of or recycled properly. Plastic bags can be disposed of in most grocery stores, but not the recycling bins in your home or on the streets.
Many New Yorkers have split feelings about this ban. Some feel it's more of a burden in their day to day lives than anything. Others are acknowledging the positive impact it will have on the environment.
How does it affect you?
Don't just bring your reusable bag to the grocery store, but retail shops as well. All stores that collect sales tax will be required to enforce this law. In NYC, paper bags will be available but for five cents each. Where does this money exactly go? Well, the two cents will be given to programs giving out reusable bags and the other 3 cents will be donated to the state's Environmental Protection Fund.
Are there any exceptions to this ban?
You can still receive plastic bags at pharmacies and produce bags for fruits and veggies you buy in large quantities. But if you are devoted to helping the environment a great option is to bring reusable produce bags with you to the grocery store. Takeout from restaurants is another exception to this law.
Where to find reusable bags
If you aren't sure where to get a reusable bag, you can most likely find them at most grocery stores like Whole Foods or online on Amazon. For all you loyal Beet fans out there, you can even purchase The Beet reusable tote bag by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.