Reduce Single-use Bags in NYC

Reduce Single-use Bags in NYC

  l   WHY WE NEED IT   l   HOW IT WORKS   l   FAQ   l   GET INVOLVED  


Status Update (January 2017): The City Council passed NYC's plastic bag law (Intro 209-A) on May 5, 2016 after extensive debate, to eliminate the 10 billion wasteful, single-use plastic bags that NYC residents throw out every year. The Council bill was amended to reduce the 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.

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, legislation 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 bag fee law. 

As President-elect Trump and GOP Members of Congress threaten to undo critical climate protections nationwide, and strip cities and states of their ability to advance sustainability, New York State legislators who care about the environment must defend the right of localities to advance effective, forward-looking environmental policy.

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: 

Find your assembly member:

Why We Need NYC's Plastic Bag Law

Every year, New Yorkers dispose of 9.37 billion single-use plastic bags -- and millions of them end up in our neighborhoods, trees, streets, and oceans.  New York City spends $12.5 million per year to send them to landfills, and even more to clean them off playgrounds, beaches, parks, and other public places. 

Even when properly disposed of, plastic bags often blow away onto the street or into waterways, where they become eyesores, clog storm drains, and endanger wildlife. If we are going to achieve our OneNYC zero waste goals, we can't ignore harmful plastic bag waste.

Our bill aims to reduce the use and negative impacts of carryout bags by requiring a 5-cent charge for carryout bags in NYC grocery and retail stores. 



NYC's plastic bag law will reduce single-use bags in NYC!

Plastic bag in tree

  • Plastic bags cost the public money through waste burden and machinery jams at recycling plants.
  • Our current voluntary plastic bag recycling regime is ineffective, and despite over a decade of efforts, plastic industry groups cannot point to a single successful municpal plastic bag recycling program.
  • Other cities in the U.S. and around the world have successfully reduced plastic bags through per-bag charges and there is no reason that NYC should lag behind.
  • Reducing our plastic bag waste is an important step of reaching our OneNYC zero waste goals. Plastic bags are a big part of the problem, and we need a new approach to deal with them.


Track Plastic Bag Litter on the #BagItNYC Map

  • Help us map NYC's plastic bag problem. It's easy - just upload a photo of plastic bag litter to instagram using #BagItNYCMap. 
  • Use the map below (also at to track support for the bill in your district.


Sign up for updates!

Follow Me on Social Media