Is New York Finally Ready for a Plastic Bag Law?

April 11, 2014
As California plastic bag bans celebrate their anniversaries and officials ponder a statewide ban, it’s come time to look east. New York City’s City Council already has more than 20 supporters of a minimum 26 needed to move a plastic bag law forward. Is this New York’s time to embrace reusable wholesale shopping bags for good? Considering the disastrous effects plastic bags have had on the Big Apple, most people hope the law’s time has arrived. Like many laws banning or charging a fee for single-use bags in California and Washington, D.C., New York City shoppers would have to pay 10 cents if they don’t bring reusable shopping bags to the store for groceries. Since bag-recycling efforts have failed, the City Council is putting its hope in a law that could cut down on the 5 billion plastic bags used every year by New Yorkers. Whether it is a few items bought from a deli or a larger haul at the grocery store, residents use flimsy plastic bags that barely allow them to carry these items home. Because there are so many New Yorkers using so many bags, the excess end up in corner trashcans and on the ground. Before long, they are blowing down city streets and catching on tree branches. New York pays Parks Department employees to travel the city removing plastic bags from trees so they can bloom in the spring every year. Meanwhile, over $10 million is spent to drive excess plastic bags to landfills in other states. The situation has become a disaster in terms of fiscal and environmental policy, yet carryout bag laws have yet to pass the council. What gives in New York? It seems to be a matter of messaging. Reusable wholesale shopping bags could solve grocers’ and consumers’ concerns about these laws overnight. No one has to pay a bag fee in New York ever again. By folding up a few bags and taking them to the store, consumers would never face a charge for a plastic or paper bag. Store owners who have expressed fear of losing customers from a bag law could be even more proactive. Retailers would keep the 10-cent charge customers pay when they don’t bring reusable bags to the store. Business owners who wanted to seamlessly adapt to the law have an excellent opportunity – use the money collected to buy reusable bags for customers. By ordering wholesale shopping bags with the business logo on them, store owners could give value back to customers while promoting the company. Instead of fighting a common-sense law, New Yorkers would be much better served if business leaders and elected officials found ways to make it succeed. The time has come, New York. For more information about our eco-friendly reusable shopping bags or for a quote please visit or contact us at 800.255.0885.