The plastic bag ban takes effect in New York today. And for New Yorkers who typically rely on plastic bags at stores, get ready for some change.
If you haven’t already been to the stores, things are going to look a little bit different next time you are going through the check out line. That’s because last march, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation banning single use plastics. Meaning stores across the state are no longer offering plastic bags at the register.
“I do think it’s a good thing, I think it’s just a matter of remembering the bags. I was saying earlier, I have to put them right in my car as soon as I unload the groceries. Or I know the next time I come to go grocery shopping, I wont have them in the car. So it’s a good little way for me to remember,” says Kathy Lawliss who lives in Peru, NY.
Now if you forget your reusable bags at home, don’t worry, retailers will now have paper bags available to the public. However, the catch is that they cost five cents per bag. “That’s fair” says Lawliss. “I was actually surprised to see people coming out with paper bags today because I didn’t know that you would have that option. And honestly people are going to forget their bags, it’s going to happen. So I think it’s really good that they have that alternative.”
And one of those shoppers today was Rick Strack of Plattsburgh. Although he didn’t remember his bags, he still appreciates the initiative to protect future generations. “If you look at the effect on the environment and things like that, yeah we need to start taking some steps for our grand kids and their kids.”
The department of environmental conservation said it would not start penalizing businesses that use plastic bags until April 1st. And while most retailers are not using plastic bags anymore, plastic bags can still be used for uncooked meats, prescription drugs, and dry-cleaning.