News Category

Renewable Bag Council Opposes Proposed Bag Fee in New York City

Mar 31, 2014

Renewable Bag Council (RBC) opposes initiatives that attempt to tax or ban paper bags.

New York City Council members introduced legislation (Int. 0209-2014) during the bi-monthly City Council ‘Stated Meeting’ on Wednesday, March 26 to require a 10 cent charge for each paper or plastic carryout bag given to retail customers.  

Int. 0209-2014 also requires that paper carryout bags must contain a minimum of 40 percent post-consumer recycled content. Exemptions for participants in financial assistance programs are included in the text. The commissioners of environmental protection and consumer affairs and the mayor’s office of long term planning and sustainability are to report to the mayor and the council annually on the process of carryout bag reduction. This report will include information on the percent of "gross revenue attributable to paper, plastic or reusable carryout bags."  

Currently, New York State has a mandatory take-back recycling program for plastic bags that requires certain retail stores (such as medium-large stores and shopping malls) to accept clean plastic bags for recycling.  

RBC will be monitoring closely and will prepare to communicate with New York City Council members and submit testimony in opposition to any ban on paper bags.