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