The Big Fish: New York City Aims to Cut Plastic Bag Waste

September 06, 2013
Great news about plastic bag bans has been coming from the West Coast for years, but the Big Apple is finally getting its moment in the spotlight: a bill to reduce plastic bags is now making the rounds in New York’s City Council. In many ways, it would be the most dramatic moment yet for the national environmental effort. Getting New Yorkers to use eco-friendly reusable shopping bags would save billions of plastic bags from landfills, seas, parks, and streets. The bill would charge 10 cents for a paper or plastic bag. New York, the nation’s largest city, is also its biggest polluter. In fact, New York has no more landfill space, and the city pays tens of millions of dollars to drive tons of plastic bag waste to other states. Why has it taken so long to introduce a bill that would make reusable grocery bags the norm? As the nation’s biggest city, New York is the U.S. capital of business. Several big business interests – especially ones who produce bags – have found ways to obscure the truth and make similar bills sound bad. The plastic bag proponents have made many strange claims, but it only takes a glance at New York streets to see the horrible pollution and the epic waste that results from plastic bag use. Obviously, the time for eco-friendly reusable shopping bags has come for New York. Whole Foods of Union Square, is another business promoting the use of custom reusable shopping bags . If you use one at Whole Foods, you get a discount of 10 cents. Several businesses in New York already offer their customers incentives for promoting eco-friendly solutions by offering a 10-cent discount off their purchases. Soon enough, that 10-cent discount will apply to all of New York if the council passes the bill into law. Leading mayoral candidate Bill De Blasio wants to ban plastic bags, initiate a composting program, and charge toward “Zero Waste” for the Big Apple. That would be a happy day for New York. For now, a 10-cent charge would likely slash bag usage by 75%. That’s a huge step forward. For more information about our reusable shopping bags please visit .