Is New York City Ready for a Plastic Bag Ban?
Look out New York City – the same group that successfully convinced San Francisco to pass a comprehensive plastic bag ban has you targeted next.
BagItNYC.org, an initiative of the NYC Surfrider Chapter and Clean Seas Coalition, is preparing to launch a major campaign aimed at building support behind a NYC plastic bag ban. The effort comes as cities like Los Angeles, Portland, San Jose, and Washington, D.C. have moved to ban or impose a surcharge on the use of plastic shopping bags.
“We’ve seen huge reductions including a 93% reduction in LA county based on plastic bag ban and 10 cent charge on paper,” Jennie Romer of Clean Seas told WPIX of LA’s success with the ban. “There had been talk back in 2009, Bloomberg’s office looked into a charge but that stalled due to a variety of reasons but a lot of groups working on the issue are ready to see it move forward now.”
One of the big complaints regarding a plastic bag ban is the surcharge tax that is often added for consumers not interested in bringing reusable bags to the store. While those opposed to the ban take issue with such a fee – proponents argue that it’s not only an effective deterrent, but also a negligible cost.
“If I’m a consumer here in Washington, D.C., I make 65 trips a year to the grocery store and I get, I bring home six bags, that’s 390 bags,” Michael Bolinder of the group Anacostia Riverkeeper told NPR in June. “At five cents a bag that’s $19/yr.”
Some people are great at remembering their own bags, others are sometimes a bit forgetful and there is always that one time when you unexpectedly pop to the shops. However, some people have started using things like this shopping bag app which will remind them to take a bag with them, instead of having to buy one. If you are forgetful when it comes to bringing your shopping bags then this might be a good thing to help you out.
Bolinder goes on to add that the cost for the ban is no low that the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index doesn’t even measure it. In other words, it’s not the budget-changing event that so many opposition groups make it out to be.
Nevertheless, just like Bloomberg’s bold (and smart) ban on large sugary sodas bemoaned cries of “nanny state,” you can bet an NYC plastic bag ban will face a similar tune – as well as broad opposition from the plastics industry.
Are you ready to join the fight to give plastic bags the boot in the Big Apple? Show your support by signing up with BagItNYC to get informed on the next step.