The New York City Council introduced a bill today that will require a ten cent fee for all grocery bags, both paper and plastic. “Plastic bags are a problem. Our goal has to be to reduce the use of plastic bags. There are a lot of different ways to do that,” said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to CBS. The bill already has nineteen members in support of the bill. If six more members sign on their support, it will become law.
“The bags get stuck in storms drains, they cause flooding and they litter our beaches,” the Associated Press quoted Council member Margaret Chen, “And they cost New York City a lot of money.” The AP went on to point out that other cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington have already passed similar legislation.
Law makers first considered a bill back in August to charge for plastic bags, CBS reported. They quoted officials saying the city produces over seventeen hundred tons of garbage from plastic bags per week. They also pay ten million dollars to transport one hundred thousand tons of plastic bags to other states per year.
CBS interviewed New Yorkers both in favor and against the legislation. Shopper Ed Stark said “Bad idea. I know it’s an attempt to reduce the use of bags, but I don’t think the right way to do it.” Meanwhile supporters of the bill like Daniele Dimartini said the plan was “a good idea. It makes people support recycling.”
The Human Impacts Institute, a local grass roots environmental organization, tweeted a photo in support of the measure:
— Human Impacts Inst (@HumanImpacts) March 26, 2014
Image via CBS New York, YouTube