No more free NYC plastic bags?

The plastic industry has often been heard this year accusing several US municipal governments of making them their scapegoat by supplementing city coffers with taxes or charging fees for the use of plastic products such as water bottle or supermarket bags.

They might be right this time when Mayor Bloomberg of New York City announced its plans to charge New Yorkers a nickel for each plastic bag they use at every store (any kind of store even your favorite deli in the street corner). This, along with other city budget cuts, is in order to plug New York City’s expected $4bn budget shortfall for the next two years, according to the New York Times.

Early this year, the New York City Council opted to mandate recycling of supermarket plastic bags across the city instead of a ban. This move was highly applauded by the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Plastics division. The ACC has been battling bag bans [or fees] from other cities in California, Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and in Hawaii.

Just last week, the ACC said the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts, rebuffed a bid to ban plastic bags and instead opted to expand recycling.

With the big losses in Wall Street, I guess Mayor Bloomberg has to go back to the drawing board and look for smaller piggy banks such as plastic bags…and maybe even plastic bottled water tax in the near future…
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2 Responses to No more free NYC plastic bags?

  1. Pradeep 7 November, 2008 at 1:37 pm #

    Annually, the US consumes 100 billion plastic checkout bags.
    If we assume that NYC consumes 5% of the total, the potential revenues will be 0.25 billion $, or 6.3% of the deficit.

  2. Manhattan 9 September, 2009 at 4:29 pm #

    I live in New York City and the supermarket still gives me plastic bags. They don’t even ask if I want paper… so I’m not really seeing the effects of what you’re talking about.

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