City considers CHARGING for plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores

(PIX11) – First it was the Mayor’s smoking ban, then a proposed ban on large sugary drinks, and Styrofoam. Now a group of City Council members is taking aim at plastic bags and it could cost you.

They want grocery and retail stores to charge customers 10 cents for each plastic bag they use. They say the goal is to cut down on the 100,000 tons of plastic bags the city pays $10 million a year to put into landfills and to clean up the city. Lawmakers supporting the bill say it is not a tax because the stores will keep the money but are New Yorkers ready to pay for their bags to help clean up the environment?  Maybe, maybe not.

Outside the Gristede’s Store on Second Avenue at 40th stree,t Vera told PIX11, “Great idea. That’s the way they do in Europe and I approve of that.” She went on to say, “I think its a great idea. I bring my bags.”  But Ramon Pagan of the Bronx sees it differently. “That’s a bad idea. No. That’s the same as Connecticut. In Connecticut everything you by you need to buy the bag too,” he said.

The idea is to make you think twice about paying for a plastic bag that will eventually pollute the environment and to get consumers to use their own reusable bags. But Martin Hirschkorn told us,  It’s good for businesses but not for consumers. It’s more money coming out of the consumers’ pocket.” Howard Cheng said, “It’s a good idea. I think in the future though I would be using my own bag.”

Under the plan you would also have to pay a dime for paper bags so that people don’t just switch to paper that still would have to be hauled away. The sponsors of the bill wants  folks to use multi- use bags and recycle. Those using food stamps would not have to pay.

Sponsors and supporters of the bill say different versions are working in other cities. But the National Federation of Independent Business says its more Nanny City stuff and a tax that will hurt consumers and small businesses.

The bill is to be formally introduced Thursday.

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