NEW YORK CITY’S PLASTIC BAG FEE: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
We’re proud to announce that our very own New York City is joining the ranks of eco-friendly elite cities like San Francisco, Portland, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, by enacting legislation to reduce the number of plastic bags used in the big apple.
From your corner bodega to your favorite SoHo boutique, store owners will soon be required to charge a minimum 5-cent fee for every plastic bag distributed to customers at checkout.
Although the plastic bag fee means paying an extra 5 cents whenever you forget your reusable bags, we’re all about anything that can help clean up the environment.
New York City’s Plastic Bag Bill was enacted on June 20, 2016, but don’t worry, the disposable bag fee is not scheduled to go into effect until February, 2017. The goal behind the new plastic bag fee is to encourage New Yorkers to bring along reusable bags when they shop, which will inevitably reduce the overall use of plastic bags that end up in our landfills.
Every year, the New York City Sanitation Department collects about 10 billion plastic bags which turns out to be more than 1,000 bags for every man, woman and child.
This shocking number doesn’t account for all of the plastic bags that litter our neighborhoods and end up in our oceans.
Since plastic bags are made from non-renewable resources, such as oil and natural gas, they are harmful to our environment and unfortunately can’t be recycled.
Plastic bag consumption is an expensive problem for NYC and the city ends up spending over $12 million a year to dispose of everyone’s unwanted plastic bags.
Research shows that charging customers for single-use plastic bags changes their behavior by incentivizing us to think twice before opting for that plastic bag.
To ease the transition, the new bill allows stores to hand out reusable bags to customers from April 17-30, right around Earth Day. For all of you New Yorkers who survive on delivery and takeout, the fee will not apply to any bags used for independent restaurants so your food will still arrive in top shape. The 5 cent fee also will not apply to brown bags from the liquor store, bags used for produce or meat in the supermarket, or any bags used for prescription drugs.
At RE.BIN, we’re all about simplifying going green and making environmental stewardship as easy as possible by providing you with all the information you need to make eco-friendly choices in the blink of an eye. If you’re in NYC, don’t forget to download The RE.BIN Recycling Guide: New York. This one-page recycling guide clears up any questions you have about recycling in NYC, including where to put your styrofoam takeout containers and pizza boxes.