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The Disposable Bags Get Approval from NYC Lawmakers for 5-Cent Charge

Now you’ll be charged for that plastic bag you use at the grocery store. Yes, you read it right! The New York City Council committee recently recommended a 5 cent fee, which was passed in a 28-20 vote. The supporters are expecting this to make New York cleaner and a great step to protect the environment. It is said to work well in many other cities and countries. And the same is expected here.

Well, the proposed law has been a much talked about topic for more than two years. Basically, it is an idea to give people a financial incentive to make a switch over to reusable bags. And as for now the law states that grocery stores will now charge at least 5 cents for every plastic or paper carryout bag for the customers who don’t get their own reusable bags.

The Disposable Bags Approved by NYC Lawmakers for 5-Cent Charge

What was the Problem?

Thousands of New Yorkers, every minute and every day, reach across the counter at supermarkets and shops, accepting disposable plastic bag, without a second thought.  The ever rising number of these bags led to a significant rise in the city’s sanitation problems. It is estimated that nearly 10 billion bags a year are tossed in the trash, i.e. making it 19,000 for every minute. That’s really huge!

As for now, the city officials poised to test whether this 5-cent charge will stop New Yorkers from utilizing those convenient, but environmentally unfriendly sacks or not. The bill was approved by the City Council. According to it, most merchants need to charge customers at least a nickel for every bag they demand. And it also includes those bags made of paper. This isn’t a tax and the stores will get to keep the collected money.

What People Have to Say?

The bill gets a mixed bag of reactions. As far as the supporters are concerned, they are hoping that the extra charge will make the New Yorkers think twice before accepting the bag. And they will perhaps start bringing their own. Finally, expecting to reduce the number of bags, filling the landfills that blow into the trees and waterways!

For the Mayor Bill de Blasio, it is a goal of making zero waste to landfills by 2030. He is excited over this and will sign the bill, which is expected to take effect from Oct. 1. And if the law is enacted, New York City will become a part of more than 150 other municipalities all over the globe, which have already passed ordinances to charge a fee for bags or to ban the single-use plastic bags.

It was the former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg who proposed a plastic bag charge for the first time in 2008. However, the idea was dropped due to its failure in getting support from the City Council. Then the current bill was introduced in 2014. It was for 10 cents, but now it has been amended to slash the per-bag fee to 5. So, for now it will be the time to decide what the law for ubiquitous and easily torn plastic bags from the grocery store will bring forth in New York City!