A Plastic Bag Could Soon Cost You Five Cents In New York City

Image courtesy of Renee Rendler-Kaplan

If you forget your reusable bags at home it could soon cost you in New York City, as local lawmakers are poised to vote on a measure that would add a five cent fee to consumers’ bills if they opt for a plastic or paper bag at checkout. 

The New York Times reports that the fee is meant to cut down on the city’s litter and the estimated 10 billion bags that end up in the trash each year.

If the measure passes, the fee — which is not classified as a tax, as merchants would get to keep the funds — would go into effect on Oct. 1.

The fee would only apply to purchases made at retail, grocery and convenience stores, and some street vendors.

Liquor stores, food carts selling prepared food, and restaurants packaging takeout orders would be exempt, as are customers paying with food stamps, the NY Times reports.

New York would join several other municipalities in charging a fee or outright banning single-use plastic and paper bags.

Earlier this month Minneapolis banned all plastic bags from store checkouts and impose a fee on customers who opt to get a paper bag instead of bringing their own carriers.

Prior to that Seattle, Portland, OR, Los Angeles, and Chicago, among other cities, have legalized such bans. Hawaii is so far the only state that has a ban on plastic bags.

New York Today: That Plastic Bag May Cost You [The New York Times]

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