Green Business Bureau Blog


New York Mayor Proposes Charge on Plastic Bags


Recently New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed that NYC begin charging shoppers 6 cents for each plastic bag issued at the register. The policy is the latest attempt by the city to go green and reduce its environmental footprint, and it comes several months after Ireland introduced a similar tax that cut the use of plastic bags by 94%.

Under Bloomberg’s plan New York would join a growing number of cities including Ireland and Melbourne that have chosen to actively deter the use of plastic bags. The proposal differs from recent measures in Los Angeles and San Francisco, where plastic bags are being banned for certain uses, such as grocery shopping.

Bloomberg’s proposal will likely be controversial, so it will provide an incentive for compliance by giving one out of every 6 cents to store owners. We sure hope that the city council sees the large impact that such a small fee could have. If they are looking for an example, they need only go to the IKEA store in Brooklyn, where a small charge of 5 cents per bag cut the demand by half.


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