Plastic Bag Ban Catching On

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As Rye preps for implementing its plastic bag ban, neighboring communities are considering following suit.

Although there are no formal proposals yet, leaders of the Town of Mamaroneck and the Villages of Mamaroneck and Larchmont say they, too, will consider banning single-use disposable plastic bags, like the kind we use in supermarkets.

The bags, only a fraction of which is recycled, are widely blamed for littering streets, clogging waterways and harming marine life.

But there are other benefits to banning the bags, too.

“By reducing the amount of trash, there’s the environmental benefit,” says Mamaroneck Town Administrator Stephen Altieri. “And if we can reduce our solid waste cost, there is a dual benefit.”

In approving the law in December, Rye became the first municipality in Westchester, and one of just a handful around the country, to have  all-out bans on the books. The law, under which retailers who use plastic bags will be fined $150, will take effect in June.

Rye’s ban is one of the more radical approaches to the problem. In Washington, D.C., for example, shoppers are charged 5 cents for every bag they get from retailers.

— Photos: Jacqueline Silberbush

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5 thoughts on “Plastic Bag Ban Catching On

    • That’s my issue as well!
      I don’t throw out used shopping bags – I reuse them as wet garbage bags in the belief that I am saving the environment from additional plastic bags.
      Am I mistaken? Happy to hear suggestions from others.
      Thank you!

    • These bags are a scourge. I am always fishing them out of storm sewers and from the shoreline. Many sea creatures are killed by these bags.

      We shop with reusable canvas bags, throw “wet” trash in the regular kitchen garbage and only use plastic bag liners for the bathroom wastebasket (I buy recycled plastic bag liners from Whole Foods).

      We compost our vegetable scraps and have much less garbage to take out every week.

      It has become easy and routine for us, even though it sounds like a pain at first.

      Now if only we could ban those plastic water bottles…

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