New York City is ready to #BYOBag!

On Thursday, May 5th, the New York City Council voted in favor of Int. 0209-2014!  This is a monumental step toward building a more progressive city, and this legislation will serve to make for a cleaner and healthier New York City and environment!

Two years ago, NYLCV joined forces with Council Members Margaret Chin & Brad Lander, the co-sponsors of this bill, and worked on getting the message out of how harmful plastics really are. One of the biggest triumphs seen was the backing of the bill on Thursday, April 28th, by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, which put the number of Council Members in support of the bill over the tipping point needed to bring it to fruition.

The passage of this bill marks one of NYLCV’s major pieces of priority legislation moving forward: it was a weighted bill on both the 2014 and 2015 NYC Council Scorecards. Reducing disposable bag waste will cut down drastically on plastics pollution, leading to an increase in the health of our environment, waterways, and the appearance of our neighborhoods.  Residents can anticipate the elimination of plastic bags stuck in trees, and clogged storm drains flooding the streets because of bags.

After its enactment, the now Local Law will impose a 5-cent fee on any plastic bag given out when shopping.  One thing to remember: You will never be charged if you simply say no to a disposable bag. Don’t take a bag, don’t pay a fee.  In fact there are retailers that already incentive bringing your own bag, by deducting 5-cents per bag from your total purchase!

Hand in hand with reducing plastics pollution, it will also result in a decrease in emissions. Producing plastic bags is energy intensive, and uses harsh, polluting oils that contribute to our overall emissions. Reducing consumption will give New York City a leg-up in meeting their reduction of greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050!