New York Magazine - The Fight Over Plastic Bags Is About a Lot More Than How to Get Groceries Home
“[Kathryn Garcia, New York’s commissioner of Sanitation,] is currently in the middle of a fight to bring some sort of plastic-bag action to New York. She is less professionally concerned with plastic bags in faraway oceans than she is with the 1,700 tons that New Yorkers throw away each week. New York pays an estimated $10 million a year to transport single-use bags, both plastic and paper, to out-of-state landfills — and that doesn’t cover the money spent to pick them up as loose litter. Recently, I visited Manhattan Beach, a sliver of sand off Sheepshead Bay, early on the morning after Fourth of July weekend, and, sure enough, were I an alien, I’d have assumed the beach was some sort of plastic-bag farm, ready for harvest.”
"The potential to cut down on the number of bags being pumped into our plastic-overloaded environment — the Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that the average American family brings home 1,500 of them each year — should be an argument in itself for retooling our current system, in which they’re just given away from free. And this interactive map from BagItNYC, the coalition trying to pass the bill, has some of the strongest anecdotal evidence of the need for such a tax: it highlights the very real, very ugly prevalence of bag litter throughout the city, crowdsourced via Instagram."
"More than 70 organizations, including NYC Sierra Club and the New York League of Conservation Voters, sent a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito urging them to support the bill from council members Brad Lander and Margaret Chin. The groups say New Yorkers use 10 billion single-use carryout bags every year and it costs the city $12.5 million annually to send the non-biodegradable bags to landfills."
Gothamist - Is NYC Ready For A 10-Cent Plastic Bag Fee?
'"We don't want you to pay 10 cents. That's not what this is about," Councilmember Margaret Chin said on the steps of City Hall yesterday. "We want to help everyone in the city to make the easy shift to use reusable bags."'
The New York Times - Ten Cents a Bag? That’s About Right
"The measure, sponsored by Brad Lander and Margaret Chin, does not ban bags outright, as some cities and states have done. It exempts restaurants (bicycle takeout without plastic bags in New York City is hard to imagine), food pantries, street vendors who sell prepared food and customers using food stamps. This is meant to ease the burden on the poor... The bags are no good. Their use should be curtailed. The bill should pass."