A majority of City Council Members have signed onto Intro 209-A, a bill to dramatically reduce single-use plastic and paper bag waste in New York City. The bill’s co-sponsors, Council Members Brad Lander, Margaret Chin and Antonio Reynoso, join fellow elected officials, environmental leaders, climate justice groups, community-based organizations, and elementary school students from neighborhoods across NYC in calling for the passage of the amended bill.
New Yorkers throw away more than 9 billion plastic bags each year resulting in over 91,000 tons of solid waste sent to landfills at a cost of over $12.5 million. The bags, which are made of petroleum and take millions of years to decompose, get stuck in trees, litter streets and beaches, clog storm drains and recycling equipment, and become part of giant islands of plastic sludge in our oceans.
The amended bill includes the following changes:
- Change to 5-cent charge (from 10 cents)
- Requires more robust outreach and education about the bill in multiple languages
- Requires a study on the impact of the legislation on litter, solid waste, and bag use reductions, as well as the public’s reaction to the law across demographic groups.
The bill has majority support in the City Council with 26 co-sponsors: Brad S. Lander, Margaret S. Chin, The Public Advocate (Ms. James), Donovan J. Richards, Peter A. Koo, Stephen T. Levin, Elizabeth S. Crowley, Daniel Dromm , Mark Levine, Corey D. Johnson, James G. Van Bramer, Andrew Cohen, Costa G. Constantinides, Helen K. Rosenthal, Carlos Menchaca, Ben Kallos, Ydanis A. Rodriguez, Laurie A. Cumbo, I. Daneek Miller, Ritchie J. Torres, Antonio Reynoso, Rosie Mendez, Fernando Cabrera , Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., Julissa Ferreras-Copeland,Andy L. King, Jumaane D. Williams.
If you don't see your Council Member's name on this list, please contact him or her to say you support the bill (you can find your Council Members by address here: http://council.nyc.gov/html/members/members.shtml).
If they are on the list, they could drop off at any point as they receive pressure from the plastics industry and other opponents of the bag bill, so please let them know that you appreciate their support of this bill!
The best ways to reach out to your Council Member to register your support of the ordinance:
- Call the Council Member to express your support for the bill. If no one is available, feel free to request a meeting with the council member to get your point across.
- Send them a tweet or personal email. Don't know what to say? Here's a sample letter to use:
My name is [NAME].
I am a constituent in your district and live at [ADDRESS].
I would like to express my support of the Lander-Chin bag bill and I request you sign on as a co-sponsor. The bill would require retailers to charge 5 cents for carryout bags (which the retailer keeps) to reduce the environmental impact of the bags as well as reduce cost to taxpayers of the carryout bag disposal. I would like to schedule a brief meeting to talk with the Council Member about the legislation. Thanks for your time.
Sincerely, [YOUR NAME]