Friday, November 7, 2008

Bye bye single-use bags!

Great news. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called for a 6 cent charge per plastic bag needed at the register. What is being called the plastic bag tax could generate $16 million a year. Or even better, if the proposal is passed, perhaps the outcome will mimic the bag tax in Ireland. From the NY Times:

Just a few weeks after Ireland adopted a similar, though much heftier tax in 2002 — charging shoppers 33 cents a bag — plastic bag use dropped 94 percent, and within a year, nearly everyone in that country had purchased reusable cloth bags.

Several City Council members said they were intrigued, but needed to see more details. Several did note, however, that it was only a few months ago that the Council passed — with the help of environmentalists and plastic bag manufacturers — a law requiring all stores that provide plastic bags to accept plastic bags for recycling, with some exceptions. And during the lengthy public debate over that bill, council members heard speakers testify that fees of at least 25 cents a bag needed to be imposed to get consumers to change their behavior.

Read reactions from New Yorkers here.

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