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  • Writer's pictureDaria Mudrova

Plastic bags and degradable bags current situation in New York

Updated: Nov 3, 2020

My observation about New Yorker’s attitude to environmental problems in general, in particular to plastic bags.

When I first time came to America I was impressed how many plastic Americans use, the huge number of disposable items in everyday life, as well as the number of plastic bags.

It used to be that after shopping I came back home with 10 items and 10 plastic bags. The only exception was Whole Foods - they switched paper plastic bags to paper bags in 2007 and clothing stores mostly all use paper ones.

On the same time i was impressed that almost all New Yorkers do recycling . So all the paper go to recycle, as well as plastic.

So in March 2020 the Mayor of NYC introduced a law banning the use of plastic bags in supermarkets and other stores.

In accordance with the Waste Reduction Act passed in New York State last year, plastic bags may not be distributed in virtually every store: clothing, household, etc.The exception was some cases - medicines, fresh vegetables, meat, etc.

Paper bags and reusable bags have been suggested as an alternative. Instead, customers are expected to bring their own reusable bags. If they don't, they'll be asked to pay a 5-cent fee for each provided paper bag.

But you know, in mid-March, lockdown occurred in New York, and not all stores managed to switch to paper and reusable bags.

Some of the national ones managed to switch to reusable and paper bags as CVC, Target, Ride Aid, Duane Read. As well as almost all fashion brands, they started to charge per paper bag 5 cents - Zara, Uniqlo, forever 21, etc. what is really great, on my view, because I think people will use less.

The law execution was flexible recently, but I see more and more stores nowadays refuse plastic bags.

Was happy to share my experience with very cool Russian YouTube channel “Sortirovochnaya” by @lorerrrrr link.

What do you think about that, what is the situation in your city? Do you try not using tones of plastic bags and go shopping with reusable bag? :)

Daria Mudrova


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