NYC Grocery Bag Fees: What’s Next?

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They say nothing in the world is free and NYC residents may soon start paying for their shopping bags. That’s right, not only will they being paying for their groceries, but also the bags that they carry them home in.

City council members in New York City are considering adding a fee for plastic and paper bags in hopes of persuading customers to use reusable shopping bags instead and cutting down on the amount of trash and litter in the city of New York.

The fee for each bag will not be much, likely only ten cents or less. While this may not seem like a significant amount of money for most people, the fee can add up over time, especially for people who shop often. The small fee for the bags could save the city a lot of money in clean up fees.

According to Deputy Sanitation Commissioner Ron Gonen, the grocery bag fee would save NYC millions of dollars per year.

“We could save approximately $10 million a year if we could significantly reduce the amount of plastic shopping bags we use on an annual basis,” Gonen said.

Even though the grocery bag fees could prove to be a good thing for the city, many people are not happy about them. The legislation was originally proposed in August of 2013 but did not get the support of many council members. After much consideration, the council members have decided that it may be a good idea after all and the legislation is much more likely to get passed this time around.

Shoppers would in no way be made to pay the fee and could choose to bring their own bags with them instead of using the plastic or paper bags provided by the store. Reusable shopping bags are inexpensive and large enough to hold a fair amount of groceries.

If NYC council members do approve the fees, it is likely that more cities will follow suit in order to save money on their own clean up.

Do you think the NYC grocery bag fee idea is a good one?

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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