NYC postpones bag fee vote – USA

Posted on April 27, 2016 by DrRossH in Plastic Limiting Regulations

NYC postpones bag fee vote | Plastics News#utm_medium=email&utm_source=pn-sustain&utm_campaign=pn-sustain-20160421&email_sustain#utm_medium=email&utm_source=pn-sustain&utm_campaign=pn-sustain-20160421&email_sustain#utm_medium=email&utm_source=pn-sustain&utm_campaign=pn-sustain-20160421&email_sustain.

The “Carryout Bag Reduction” bill would require supermarkets and most shops to charge shoppers 5 cents for disposable bags. Bag fees, which have been implemented in other cities including Los Angeles and Washington D.C., are the fairest and most effective way to get customers to bring reusable bags and cut down on the use of plastic, Lander said.

Opponents of the bill include Councilman David Greenfield, D-Brooklyn, who says the fee amounts to a tax, and Councilman James Vacca, D-Bronx, who argues that it disproportionately punishes the poor. But the pockets of resistance to the measure have mostly come from representatives of white, middle-class districts. Lander was able to solidify support for the bill from minority colleagues by cutting the proposed 10-cent fee in half and by adding a provision to have the city distribute some free, reusable bags.

Purchases made with food stamps or Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which serve low-income households, will not be subject to the charge. Bags for restaurant food and pharmacy prescriptions will also continue to be free. Because retailers would keep the 5-cent fees and not have to keep track of them, industry groups including the Food Industry Alliance of New York and the New York Metro Retail Alliance are not fighting the bill.

However, it is opposed by the plastics industry, which represents manufacturers of plastic bags. Foes have hired Bertha Lewis of the Black Institute to fight the legislation.