NYC Council Introduces 5-Cent Bag Fee

Connector Spring 2016

The New York City Council has passed a controversial bag bill (Intro 209) in a 28-20 vote, which will impose a 5-cent fee on paper and plastic single-use bags throughout the city. The law will go into effect Oct. 1.

The fee will apply to retail, grocery, and convenience stores as well as some street vendors. The merchants will pocket the money, unlike similar bills in which cities use the money for education or cleanup programs.

The bill will exempt NYC residents that are shopping with the assistance of government benefits. It will also exempt restaurants, so consumers will not need to worry about paying extra for delivery.

Opponents, however, are not pleased, as many of them believe the bill will have a negative effect on low-income consumers, and that the bill wouldn’t change behavior. To address these concerns, the fee was halved from the original 10-cent proposal to 5, but that still was not enough to keep opponents from fighting it to the last minute.

Regardless, proponents that pushed for environmental justice came out victorious. New York City now joins other major cities that have put similar fees on single-use bags, including Washington, DC, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Source: Waste Dive