Don't Let Albany Legislators Cram Plastic Bags Down NYC's Throat (and Trees, Storm Drains & Landfills)

Don't Let Albany Legislators Cram Plastic Bags Down NYC's Throat (and Trees, Storm Drains & Landfills)

Statement by Council Member Brad Lander on efforts by Albany legislators to overturn NYC's plastic bag law (which will go into effect on February 15th, 2017):

"With Trump and the GOP Congress rolling back climate protections and bullying cities, it would be shameful for Albany to join them. Don't they have more important work to do?

New York State legislators who care about the environment must defend the right of localities to advance effective, forward-looking environmental policy.

A majority of the New York City Council voted to adopt our plastic bag law last spring. After extensive debate, the bill was amended to reduce the bag fee from 10-cents to 5-cents, to exempt SNAP/WIC transactions, to give stores a grace-period before fines are imposed, and to add more outreach (in multiple languages) and time for New Yorkers to prepare for the fee. We look forward to the bag fee going into effect on February 15th.

For Albany legislators who want to avoid paying the bag fee, we have a simple suggestion:

Bring reusable bags. (We will be glad to provide them.)

I encourage all New Yorkers who care about the environment to call their State Senators and Assembly Members and urge them to oppose this small-minded, pro-waste, plastic-industry-funded, undemocratic, anti-environment power-grab."

Background

The City Council voted last spring to adopt NYC's plastic bag law (Intro 209-A) to reduce the 10 billion single-use plastic bags (91,000 tons of plastic waste) that NYC residents throw away every year, many of which wind up in our tress, storm drains, parks, and oceans.

Like hundreds of cities and states across the U.S. (and even whole countries around the world), we will solve this problem with a simple and effective policy: a small charge on single-use bags, both paper and plastic, to encourage people to bring reusable bags instead. These policies have been proven to reduce the consumption of plastic bags by 60% - 90%. Across age, race, religion, and neighborhood, the vast majority of people starting bringing reusable bags, and quickly say they don’t mind. 

The bag bill is set to go into effect on February 15, 2017. For more information on the bill's implementation, visit DSNY's website.  

Unfortunately, some legislators in Albany want to cram plastic bags down our throats (and trees, and storm drains), desipte our democratically-adopted law to get rid of them. Bills sponsored by Senator Simcha Felder and Assembly Member Michael Cusick (S.362/A.1750) would -- if passed by both houses, and signed by the governor -- prohibit New York City from implementing our plastic bag law. 

With Trump and the GOP Congress rolling back climate protections and bullying cities, it would be shameful for Albany to join them. New York State legislators who care about the environment must defend the right of localities to advance effective, forward-looking environmental policy.

Learn more here about NYC's plastic bag law, and why we adopted it.

Please call your State Senator & Assembly Member to urge them to oppose the "NYC Bag Pre-emption Bill" (S.362/A.1750).

Find your state senator: https://www.nysenate.gov/find-my-senator 

Find your assembly member: http://nyassembly.gov/mem/search/

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