Saturday, December 27, 2014

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The Call Blog: Paper Or Plastic? That May Soon Cost You

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I haven't purchased a garbage bag in more than a decade. I have a "bag of bags" at home and at work. Every store-issued one is re-used. So for me, the only question is whether the garbage bags for sale are cheaper than paying the ten extra cents.

In an effort to reduce the use of plastic and paper, the City Council is considering a surcharge if you don't use your own bags at the checkout counter. Lawmakers introduced legislation today that would require grocery stores, bodegas, retail and drug stores to charge customers 10 cents per bag. The goal is to reduce waste and City spending on transporting trash to other states.

Supporters of the bill say charging customers who don't recycle old bags will save approximately $10 million every year. Opponents suggest this is just another tax on the poor and a public education campaign should be implemented instead. The stores would keep the money from the surcharge. Customers who use food stamps would not be charged. Lawmakers believe the bill has enough support to pass in the new Council, despite previous failed attempts. What do you say?

Do you support this effort to reduce the use of 5.2 billion carryout bags in New York City every year? Is the ten cent surcharge too much, too little, or just right? Will this change the way you shop? Should customers who use food stamps be exempt?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

I have been using reusable bags for years now, not for less for environmental reasons and more so for pragmatic ones – they are sturdier. People who oppose this surcharge and cite “prices going up” have a very myopic point of view and do not understand nor realize the pressure and stress plastic bags place on the city and the environment. The African country of Rwanda has banned non-biodegradable plastic bags within its borders in 2008 and it worked out great for them.

My only worry is about local bodegas where one buys a few items at a time; it would be good if part of this program would entail installing some way for these stores to sell reusable bags.

Middle Village, Queens

If it really is about the environment and not taking money from us, why not support a program that gives the customer 10 cents off for bringing their own bag?

Morningside Heights


10 cents for a grocery bag. 30 cents so taxis can upgrade to handicapped accessible. Politicians are going to nickel and dime us to death. Why will merchants be permitted to keep this fee? There are no paper bags hanging in trees in my neighborhood.

midtown east

I am for the fee. When it comes to the waste & the environment, we are all responsible & we should do our part to help. If this fee will help reduce plastic waste (and i believe it will) then i will take my own bag when i do groceries.

Upper west side

I am totally for a fee for plastic grocery bags. I am the first to admit I use plastic bags but this legislature would promote modifying behavior in a positive way toward being more environmentally friendly.


I support it. But the penalty should be higher what is a dime ? Make it 25 cents. 4 bags and it gets expensive. And the food stamps why not include them? Do they not have to recycle like everyone else Really if the poor want to save money they can use a grocery bag and not take the paper or plastic You dont see plastic bags blowing around affluent in middle class neighborhoods but go to washington heights they are all over


Hi John

In order to cut down on waste more people need to recycle, i use my shopping bags three or four times before i throw them away, i don't mind paying 10 cents for a bag it wont change the way i shop. People that are on food stamps should be exempt because they're struggling to put food on their table for their families the government is cutting back on the SNAP program, nobody should go hungry the government should reinstate the money that was taken away from the poor families no child should go hungry.


Hi John,

Are there anymore useless proposals from this ridiculous city council? You mean to tell me that we have to use the same bags over and over again with all the drippings from the shopping that accumulates. This is outrageous to say the least. How about cutting some of their salaries and no show jobs for their friends. Already they have chosen certain ones to be exempt from this law. What environment are they referring to? I think they are smoking their own weeds and it seems as though it has effected them. [FOR SURE THIS GROUP IS NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME]

Thank you John,

This is a tax and just like the bottle bill people won't bother. And then where does this "tax" money go?

Midtown East

I do not support it at all. The City has been trying all kinds of gimmicks to supposedly save money. They cut corners on infrastructure maintenance, they raised cigarette prices, and they support illegal immigration. All three of these items have cost the city dearly. Who is more dysfunctional NYS or NYC.

Park Hill


Another stupid act of government. If the government doesn't want to be in the garbage disposal business, sell it off to the highest bidder. Show me in the Constitution where the government is authorized to be in the garbage disposal business.

The sooner government pocket pickers are voted out of office, the better we will all be.

Port Richmond, SI

Hooray! This is great. If grocery stores were smart, they would give away a free, re-usable bag with their logo to every shopper for the first week or two. The new 10 cent charge should, of course, be accompanied by (not replaced by) a public education campaign with great visuals showing the enormous waste caused by throwaway bags.


First of all, I think it will make the supermarket cashier's job a lot more difficult since he/she don't have the "convenience" of their plastic bag stands, making it easier to open them and put the groceries in them. Secondly, I cannot speak for all NYers, but we re-use our plastic bags for garbage and dog waste, as well as other uses. We already know that charges for plastic bags are implemented in the charge of groceries so why add 10 cents more per bag? Food prices have recently skyrocketed due to the bad weather (drought and heavy snows) this past year. Do we really need to spend even more money on our groceries? Aren't we already overpaying for everything as it is? NYC is killing the middle/working class faster than they normally do!

Dina and Ed of Throggs Neck



Of course, screw the customer some more. Surcharge the bags, let the overpriced stores make more money. That is a lot of money for a bag considering the bags don't cost that much each to begin with. The stores will make a nice profit. Just another loss for the customer. This is just incredible, that someone with taxpayer money is coming up with this idea. They need to be fired.

Esmerelda, East Village

I use the free plastic bags from stores to line waste baskets and for garbage. If I did not get the bags free, I'd have to go to the store and buy boxes of plastic bags. Those boxes cost several dollars each. They are thicker than the ones from the grocery store and less bio-degradable. As to the argument that occasionally a plastic bag blows away and ends up caught in a tree branch, you sometimes see sneakers hanging from trees or from a wire. Does that mean we should ban sneakers?

Washington Heights

Hi John,

No I do not support the effort. The cost of food has skyrocketed & paper bags are biodegradable. This will really impact the working poor. The legislation will pass it, because in the end it's all about corp greed & money.

Springfield Gardens

I think this is a good idea except the City Council should not charge 10 cents for the surcharge. Maybe a nickel surchage would be more reasonable. Also, I don't agree grocery stores should keep the surcharge and I also think that people who get food stamps should not be exempt. The Bill would eliminate all those plastic bags hanging on the trees and stuffing the sewer system. Again...I think charging a nickel is more reasonable.


I do not see a problem with a surcharge. But why are people on public assistance not included.


It's time to get tougher on going green. I think the 10 cent surcharge is a good tactic to encourage people to utilize greener alternatives to less plastic use. Ultimately this will reduce waste and cost the city less money.

Angie, the Bronx

In apartment buildings, we still need plastic bags in order to throw out our trash, especially food waste. We will now have to buy daily trash bags, so the only winners will be Hefty and Glad. There will be just as much plastic around as before.
Margaret Chin has lost my vote.

Battery Park City

I am SO in favor of this. NYC has been so backwards environmentally. There is no reason why people shouldn't bring their own bags with them, especially with the variety of bags available. I have a few that actually scrunch up into their own little draw string bags, with clips. These fit in my purse with no problem. So yeah, get it together New Yorkers!! Do we really need all these bags blowing around on windy days and getting stuck in trees, buildings, gutters etc. Plus why do we want to spend so much money on something that is almost immediately thrown away? Jeeze!!


The City Council is ready to vote on a 10 cent fee to consumers who use paper or plastic bags in food and retain stores. The ideal is to get the consumers to bring in their own reusable bags. Mayor de Blasio is onboard on this legislation because he is going for zero waste.

Now I'm all for recycling but I'm not for taxing the poor who can little afford another expense when they go shopping. I think an ad campaign about recycling is a smarter way to get people to the right thing for our environment. In my opinion, I think the City Council is operating under the influence od stupidity.

Glen Oaks Village, N.Y.

Hi John,

I think charging New Yorkers 10 cents for using plastic bags is a really bad idea because over time the costs will add up and will place a huge financial burden on budgets of poor and middle class families. Living in New York City is expensive enough and there is no need to add to it.

Alison, Midtown East

I understand the theory behind this bill, but why put the burden on consumers? (because it's nyc, that's why). Stores should be required to provide paper bags instead of plastic. I grocery shop on my way home from work and usually have a purse, backpack and/or a tote. I can't carry any extra bags, I need the ones the store gives me. But I always get paper and reuse and recycle them. I believe that is the way to go here. If people decide to buy bags for 10 cents if their option is still only plastic, it won't help with the problem. Paper bags for all!

Meryl from Manhattan

This new bill to charge for plastic and paper bags is a revenue tax without actually saying it.

bushwick Brooklyn

I recycle grocery bags until they fall apart, then use them for garbage. New bags for every shopping trip is ridiculous. However, I think 5-cents a bag will go over better. What happens to the LUNATIC number of bags that are used for recyclables? Often those bags are only half-full.

Morningside Hts.

This is a great public policy proposal. I lived in Ireland before and after they passed a similar law and it was extremely effective in changing people's habits by encouraging shoppers to bring their own bags and reduce waste.
Way to go Lander and Chin!

Park Slope



In a city gone mad, I'm waiting for the day it'll cost a dime to enter a store to buy something!

Reechmond Hill.

Great. Another surcharge for New Yorkers! First, it was the dollar for a new Metrocard. Now it's shopping bags! I agree with your First Word caller. We need to be more aware and recycle the bags. Vigilance is the true key. Not surcharges.

Mike From Morningside

First off I tried to use the reusable bags but they fell apart. They get smelly from leaky food and washing makes them break sooner. I was replacing them every 5 to 10 uses. That is 20 to 30 cents per use. Second, Plastic bags must be used for some items so now I am being charged for the privilege of buying meats. Finally many people do reuse the bags like I do for garbage or when ever it need a bag. Educate people on how to repurpose and not take bags for everything.

Lower East Side

how is this our problem? Paper was an issue back in the day, then it was replaced with plastic; as a recyclable resource. Why not do the same thing that Costco and BJs, use the left over cardboard boxes for the groceries bought.


It may be better that stores simply not offer bags. buying groceries? bring bags. it's not that complicated. they run 99 a few, and you'll save tons of money over several trips to the stores. it's simple economics.

Lefferts Gardens, Bklyn

This is a tax and I am sick of being nickled and dimed to death and micro-managed. This tax will only hurt the poor and middle class. The wealthy don't give a damn. Why should we have to pay a tax because of slobs who improperly dispose of their plastic bags? I re-use my plastic bags as garbage bags. So I will either have to pay the tax or buy plastic bags. How does that help the environment? It only helps the City's greedy coffers. If I have to, I will pay for my plastic bags, but I may never recycle anything ever again because I am sick of these politicians and their phony "green initiatives."

East Village

I bet many people use these bags for garbage. I do. Still I am willing to pay for the privilege if it reduces needless use and waste. We need to be doing much more as a society to curtail our waste, and our energy and resource consumption.

Steven from upper east side Manhattan

this is literally just another way for them to nickel and dime us but nobody should be surprised we knew this was coming when deblasio was elected and why do the store owners get to keep the money why should they get to profit people say it is just a dime but do you know how quickly those dimes add up and people using food stamps would be exempt you see them on line at the grocery store talking on there I phone while swiping there food stamp card

John from woodside

Are the figures being cited for the cost of transporting the plastic bags just by themselves? Or do they represent the cost of transporting the plastic bags and all the garbage contained in those plastic bags? Because the garbage will STILL have to go to landfills. And it will have to go there in plastic bags. The only change will be that we will have to go to the store and BUY plastic bags instead of getting them free when we buy our groceries.


I would buy less because I wouldn't be able to fit my bags in my purse. There would be less impulse shopping on my way home

Lower East side

Enough Already -- prices are going up, up and up in New York City! It's nice that we are all growing more aware of our environment but having stores charge consumers fees for using plastic and paper bags will be burdensome and financially draining on New Yorkers who are just doing their best to survive in this city. This is just another tax on the Middle Class. What is this city council thinking of? This is not good government when the City Council blindly casts their eyes to New Yorkers that are suffering financially!!

And to come -- a cabfare hike!

Upper east side

Putting a charge on plastic and paper bags is smart in some respects. It is true that most of us use up loads of plastic bags when we go to the supermarket, and it would do the environment good to reduce that number, but at the same time who really wants to worry about bringing a canvas bag from home to the corner store when they have a sudden craving for bagels or a few candy bars?? It would truly be inconvenient for everyone.

Marie, Staten Island

I work for a retail company that recycles used bags. I think we should charge for a carry out bag. This is the way of the future. Let's go green and be more sustainable.


I agree 100% with you John…I haven’t bought garbage bags in over 30 years! Plus I recycle any bags that I don’t use for garbage. I also use the paper shopping bags to hold my plastic bottles until I recycle Them.


This hysteria about plastic bags is just another way to keep from having to fight for 10cents off perhaps household goods for NYer's. Instead this hyperbole about bags inundating the trees and streets of NYC is a distraction for the real issues affecting NYer's. The irony is versus doing something to help people keep some change in their pocket they want to nickel and dime us ...


I feel that this is an extremely positive and responsible fee to prevent the selfish ,unaware consumer from hurting innocent animals from certain death and harm from these plastic bags .this is a win win law I only feel the fee should be 25c .Lets face it most people are clueless and uncaring except for only thinking about their own needs. People must be accountable for the absolute horror of ecological mess they create.


When coming from work on the way to home we could buy &carry
if charge for 10c a bag we have to carry the reusable bag to work


I am of two opinions on this issue. Mostly I totally agree; we are a horrendous throw-away society and plastic is one of the worst things for the environment. Some of us, however, recycle those plastic grocery bags by using them as garbage bags. I see no reason to buy plastic bags to put my garbage in when I have my grocery bags. So as usual those of us who do conserve will have to pay for those who don't.


While I agree with the fact that charging for bags at stores would decrease wastage and pollution, I would certainly hope that the quality of the bags will permit reuse as would obviously I hope be the choice for most God bless !


My concern is where does it end. its similar to the large soda bill that wasn't fair to all stores. NYC is filled with various department stores, souvenir, and other retailers. Are they also going to have to abide by this rule in the future and what impact could that potentially have, especially come holiday season.


I think the surcharge is fare. My middle school students just watched the video "Bag It" and learned how plastic is destroying the earth. Thus, I think we all must do better to protect our environment.

Also, I paid for plastic bags in Ireland about six years ago so we are behind in our thinking.


I agree with the charge. This has been in practice for a long time in Europe. Stores should however, review their prices downward because the cost of the plastic bags are already imbedded in the prices of items sold. Only those who opt for the bags should pay for them.

Valerie from Harlem.

To whom it may concern ,yes you can charge us ten cents per bag but let be able to sell them back by the pounds for example when you buy any beverage in the store they charge five cents bottle deposit but you can sell back your empty bottles and cans to get reinbursed your five cents thank you that's my opinion.


To the people kvetching about the possibility of having to buy a couple of fold away light weight indestructible nylon bags, grow up and stop acting like two year olds having a temper tantrum. If you are so upset, over the course of the next week or so just save the DOZENS of bags you will continue to get at the store! Is there ANYONE out there who does NOT already have "a bag bag" (A bag full of plastic bags they brought home from the market)? Even very low income consumers can also buy one of those sturdy bags made of recycled materials for a dollar - buy one or two a month while you use up your store of plastic bags! People (including what in this country are called "poor" people and who elsewhere are average citizens) - spend their $ on so much junk...


People in other cultures have been taking their own bags for groceries for centuries. Have those objecting just not thought of taking their own? What's the problem?


I think get rid of plastic bags all together and sell the recycle bags if we have to pay for a bag let it be recycle bags. Also nothing against EBT recipients but they are using plastic bags the most so why should they be exempt from paying for bags?


Hello John. I get the reasons behind it, but I think all this does is provide funds to companies and shops selling small trash bags. I actually try to get as many as possible when I shop because these become used as trash (and other) bags in our home. ALL bags get re-used, some multiple times.

Now I have to spend money to buy trash bags. I do everything I can to reduce my environmental footprint and manage my limited budget . . . and once again I have to pay a price for it.

Bay Ridge

Has anybody mentioned that we all need trash bags in NY....everybody I know in apartment buildings recycles plastic grocery bags as trash bags

Bettina in Manhattan

I'm tired of being asked to pay more. The idea of only certain people having to pay these fees is discriminatory. Finally if the liter is a problem, make a refund for the bags let the homeless collect them. They'll clean the streets.


It's a great idea.
10 cents per bag plastic or paper.
There should be no exemptions


This is crazy. Food is high and now you want to charge us for bags to carry our food. Find another way!


Everybody I know uses the plastic bags to line garbage cans. So this means that I'm supposed to BUY plastic bags instead of using these? And will these remarkable forward thinkers then ban using plastic bags for garbage?

I know I can't be the only person who sees that this mayor has absolutely no idea what he's doing and has no ideas.

I think people voted for two adorable teenagers not realizing that we would end up with this yutz.

Simone - Manhattan

I find the 10 cent surcharge on plastic bags to be an fine idea, the promotion of using reusable bags might take some time to get used to at the grocery store, but the positive results to our environment and the money that'll be saved by the city is worth it. HOWEVER, paying an extra 10 cents or so when I go to the pharmacy or to a clothing store is a but inconvenient. Just like that 5 cent bottle deposit fee, those nickels and dimes add up!

Katherine, Staten Island

This is ridiculous, New York is already an expensive state to live in, now this! Whoever believes this will be beneficial for the city from a business standpoint of view is crazy. At first all is well, the numbers will drop but then what's happens when the bag vendors review their quarterly earnings and see the significant drop in sales? Get ready my fellow New Yorker because that surcharge will soon increase. This is not a win win situation.


Yes! People should pay or begin to make an effort to help the environment. Over time this will make a difference and become second nature for future generations! Then a surcharge will not matter.

Upper West Side

The problem with plastics is far more severe than can be addressed by a tax on plastic bags. From food containers to construction materials, plastics are not only nuisance materials that never disintegrate, but they are also toxic.

Whether this surcharge is well meant or not, it will probably only reduce the use of plastic bags by a small amount.

in short, it is just an ineffective gesture.


I think this is a wise, environmentally friendly decision made by mayor De Dlasio. Things are the same in Europe. Pay for your bags and you won't take them for granted. Furthermore, aren't people annoyed with the stacks of plastic bags stuffed in the pantry. For every change in NYC there is an uproar. Deal with it people! ;)


I'm honestly shocked that so many people are not reusing the bags they get with their groceries or produce? What are people supposed to use to wrap their garbage in? How do you clean up after your dog? Plastic bags are a necessity.


if plastic bags are the problem why are you charging 10 cents for paper bags too. switch back to all paper. they are biodegradable and reusable. then give a discount coupon for bringing your own material bags. when plastic came out everyone was in a rush to switch from paper. progress isn,t always well thought out.

gail from Jackson Heights

New York is too expensive to live in as it is.Is it not enough that more than half of the residents are struggling to get by and now they want to charge for plastic bags? This is outrageous! I do my part in making sure I recycle. Our problem is not plastic bags in itself, it is the people who don't recycle. This law needs to be reconsidered. The only individuals who are not opposed to the charge are those that are well off. Let's not make things more difficult than they already are for the little guy. The next thing you know we'll be charged for walking, talking and breathing. Sanitation needs to do a better job cleaning our streets. The state of Florida does not charge a fee for plastic bags and their streets are immaculate. What have we come to that we are now charging for the small stuff???????

Park Slope

I lived in Santa Monica for 18 months. There plastic bags were completely outlawed and paper bags were 10 cents. I can reuse and recycle paper bags but plastic bag recycling in NYC is non-existent. We need more places to recycle plastic bags as well.

This legislation needs to be tailored more like Santa Monica’s policy where plastic bags are outlawed and only paper bags for sale at 10 cents. We also need more plastic bag recycling locations required at large retailers & grocery chains.

The current legislation is flawed. But it’s better than nothing.

Hell’s Kitchen

The idea of saving the environment is great. But the real incentive should be credit for customers who bring their reusable bags to the store. People on food stamps should not be exempted. A purchase is a purchase. New Yorkers are tired of paying for the mistakes of poor administration.


Good government! I switched to cloth bags last year. 7-11 charges $1. Walgreens $3.


In apartment buildings, we still need plastic bags in order to throw out our trash, especially food waste. We will now have to buy daily trash bags, so the only winners will be Hefty and Glad. There will be just as much plastic around as before.
Margaret Chin has lost my vote.

Battery Park City

How about deBlasio give away a few million free cloth shopping bags with a shiny NYC logo on it?

-Dan from Rego Park

I'm fine with paying for the bags for $.10 but I will now have to buy plastic garbage bags. I've never bought garbage bags before and I've been living in Manhattan since 1995. I'll have to buy some of the $.10 bags anyway because I sometimes have small clean ups, such as if my dog gets sick and to line the garbage pail in the bathroom...


It always starts this way, the bridge tolls were 25 cents and were suppose to be taken away when the bridge's were paid for, now as we know the tolls are $7.50. Government needs to stay out of our live's, they add nothing but expense and hardship.


10 cent is to much. it should be 2 cents, one for store owner the other for the government.
One cent goes a long way.


As far as cleaning up dog poop. Invest in a scooper. As far as "garbage bags" them! People are making it seem as if plastic bags are going out of production. That's not it. They will be 10cents more. Live with it. It'll teach you to conserve. Perhaps this should have been implemented the same way Whole Foods does it: -.10 off your total when you bring your own bad. Then people wouldn't even realize that every time they're getting a bag they're paying for it.


It always starts this way, the bridge tolls were 25 cents and were suppose to be taken away when the bridge's were paid for, now as we know the tolls are $7.50. Government needs to stay out of our live's, they add nothing but expense and hardship.

Murry Hill

Isn;t NY expensive enough? And the only time I can do grocery shopping is on my way home from work. I buy 9 or 10 bags full of groceries. Its the supermarket, not the local bodega for spot shopping. Am I supposed to carry 10 cloth bags in my pocket????


The whole uproar over the surcharge for plastic bags and paper bags is absolutely ridiculous. People are acting like helpless lemmings, afraid that plastic and paper bags are going to disappear overnight. People, it's TEN CENTS! If it encourages people to be more green and use reusable bags, then I say GOOD. California has been doing this for a long time now, and everyone manages to get their groceries home, throw out their trash and pick up after their dogs, and nobody is belly-aching about the cost. Surely, we New Yorkers can figure it out. Get over it, New York.

Daniel, Astoria

I carry my bags with me in my backpack. I'm single so not a problem for me. I live in Queens and travel to Manhattan for food weekly because I live in a food desert. I think this is nice for people who live in Manhattan, but not in the outer boroughs. It's difficult if you have a family who may have to use up to 10-15 bags for a shopping trip. That adds up. Canvas bags aren't waterproof and too heavy to lug around. Imagine having to carry 15 canvas bags to work just to go food shopping for the family. There has to be another solution, like offering reusable bags at the counter and offering 10 if you reuse your bag like they do at Whole Foods. Taking 10 cents of my balance was incentive for me to bring my bags, but I feel for working families.


Banning plastic bags will encourage shoplifting!


Of course the tax should be levied.... In Paris they currently cost 1 Euro per bag ($1.38) and in London 1 poung per bag ($1.60). 10 cents is a steal!


Methinks that proponents and politicians should instead encourage the production of alternative paper and plastic products that can be recycled to create more jobs for people...which is a win win. BTW how does the government expect to collect what consumers pay for bags from tax averse merchants?


The number of ecoli deaths in San Francisco increased 46% after they banned plastic bags. People don't wash their reuseable bags like they should and they have caused a huge spike in food related illness. If people are reusing their bags they need to wash them every time they carry meat.


I believe the cost is already included somehow in the cost of goods we purchase, because the stores give them away so freely. If the bill is passed, maybe people would be inclined to pick up a plastic bag out of the street or climb a tree to get one.... NOT....The plastic bags are not worth $0.10 most of them have holes in them, and sometimes you need at least two to make it home...1 complimentary bag for every 5 items and 50 cents to buy extra....surely the States that charge for the bags are kept cleaner genrally....

M from Harlem

This is out-of-control. This is not a burden that should be placed on the consumer it should be placed on businesses. Maybe then these businesses will use their bags more conservatively. I often my cashier to just use one bag when it's obvious I didn't buy enough to merit a double bag

This has the propensity to create a situation in which supermarket and grocery store managers put pressure on all their cashiers to use as many bags as possible.

I understand the dire need to take recycling seriously but it seems like the concept of going green is being abused in this situation for whatever reason


To charge .10 per bag is ridiculous, I am a middle class citizen. I work hard for my $ and barely make it to pay bills or to survive. New York is already expensive! We are already being over charge for everything else!! I agree with being eco friendly and therfore I recycle and I re-use the bags for other things. It is not fair to now add another charge to us working New Yorkers!!


i think we shouldn't look at this in black and white. new yorkers NEED little plastic bags for pets, personal garbage, etc.....i think we should do it like a whole foods/trader joe's combo: offer paper, plastic, OR a 10 cent refund for carrying our own cloth bags. that way we will cut down ENORMOUSLY in usage of small plastic bags. if we cut the small ones out completely, we'll just end up with more filth on the streets, buildings, and bigger plastic hefty bags in the ocean!!!!


Instead of the stores collecting the money , bags should be made By the city , dispersed in the stores and the profits should go Back to the city.


Another instance of too much government infringing on the daily lives of its citizens. The idea of waste management is a good and necessary one. However there are many other more significant issues that govt should focus their time and energy. If pollution is a concern perhaps let's start with the fecal matter left on the streets by dog owners that present more of a health hazard than plastic bags.


John -

I feel Sal from Bay Ridge had summarized the issue well with the re-use and recycling of these plastic bags. I would like to know how they arrived at the $10MM disposal amount for NYC. The result seems to be that I will be purchasing plastic bags for garbage. Maybe you could find a person who has experienced this type of initiative from another locale who can speak on the First Word on this topic.

John, Oakwood

I am against charging 10 cents/bag.

1. I use the bags as garbage bags. I would need to buy garbage bags otherwise, which are a heavier gage, would be more wasteful, and cost even more.

2. The stores would be making a fortune charging that money.

3. The real problem is recycling in general. Why aren't all cans, bottles and containers recyclable, reusable or refundable like soda cans? Why are so many products made with such heavy plastic, hard to open containers?

Or the restaurants that use heavy plastic plates and utensils-why aren't they reusable or refunded? Even when you're eating in, they use plastic.
(McDonalds, etc)
Why don't they wash dishes and stop making all that waste?

4. What about the fact we live in a throw away society?
When a TV or computer is obsolete, we just toss it out. Companies should have to take them back and recycle the materials. Why should we pay for those corporations making all those disposable item?

There are much bigger problems with the garbage we create than the plastic bags.

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