Some Say NY Hasn’t Done Enough To Inform Residents Of Plastic Bag Ban

Mack Rosenberg
February 20, 2020 - 3:55 pm
Plan the Ban Protest

Mack Rosenberg/WCBS 880


NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Some residents in underprivileged neighborhoods throughout New York say the state did not do enough to prepare people for the ban on plastic bags set to begin next Sunday.

On March 1, New Yorkers will have two options when they head to the store: bring their own reusable bag or pay an extra five cents for every paper bag they use.

But many feel that the state failed to properly notify residents in lower-income areas, such as the South Bronx and Washington Heights.

Councilman Mark Gjonaj says those areas are in need of more time and more education.

“Hey won't know that they have to bring their own bag with them or purchase a bag for as high as 50 cents, which is a reusable bag,” he said.

Eric Goldstein, with the Natural Resources Defense Council, says that when the law takes effect, education will be a priority and there’s no need for any extra time.

“There's every reason to believe that the state will not be out on March 1st, with enforcement agents,” he said. “The whole focus of the state and the city's activities, now, are on educating the public and reminding folks that the best way to avoid spending even a penny for any kind of bag is just to bring reusable bags with you when you go to the store.”

Residents can find out how to get a free reusable bag on the city’s Department of Sanitation website as well.

What New Yorkers Need To Know About The Ban:

  • Single-use paper bags will still be allowed and counties can impose a five cent fee for each bag used.
  • Reusable plastic bags will still be allowed, but they must be able to use at least 125 times and carry 22 lbs. for at least 175-feet.
  • Those who receive government assistance, such as SNAP or WIC beneficiaries, will be exempt from bag fees.