Our coalition of non-profits and community organizations is united to eliminate the needless waste and the pollution created by single-use carryout bags.
To do so, we support legislation proven effective elsewhere: legislation that includes a fee on ALL carryout bags (plastic, paper, thicker plastic that qualify as reusable, compostable) or a ban on thin plastic bags with a fee on all other carryout bags.
Background on NYC plastic bag laws:
During the final week of March 2019, the New York State annual budget passed and included legislation banning the use of thin film plastic bags. The ban goes into effect on March 1, 2020.
The legislation bans New York stores from using plastic bags, except bags for restaurant orders, deli or meat counter products, bulk items, newspapers, dry cleaner garments and waste management. This is a great first step towards, but the legislation has a serious flaw--it does nothing to incentivize reusable bags.
As we've learned from the success of California's statewide bag ban, it's imperative to include a fee on paper and reusable bags at checkout to ensure the use of paper bags does not skyrocket. Though paper bags are biodegradable in the natural environment and do not cause the same damages as plastic, they also have an environmental footprint including the energy and water needed to produce them.
Was previous legislation introduced?
On May 5, 2016, the New York City Council adopted the #BYOBag law, which requires that all retailers in NYC charge a 5-cent minimum fee for each carryout bag provided at check-out. Due to preemption legislation introduced by state legislators later that month and a resulting compromise, implementation of the law was delayed from October 1, 2016 until February 15, 2017. In January 2017, companion preemption bills were reintroduced in Albany: Senate Bill 362 and Assembly Bill 1750.
New York State Senate (S. 4158) & Assembly (A. 4883) voted in February 2017 to nullify NYC's #BYOBag law and on February 14, 2017 Governor Cuomo signed the moratorium bill into law. Under the moratorium, the NYC City Council cannot move forward with a new bill involving fees until January 1, 2018 and such a bill would not be able to be implemented until 270 days after adoption.
Go to BagItNYC's Facebook page for action alerts including step-by-step instructions on how to call your state legislators! Also sign this change.org petition and visit Council Member Brad Lander's website for extensive background on NYC's #BYOBag law.
(updated March 2019)