The injunction is expected to pass on Monday, packaged with the New York's budget bills. Considering 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide each year, 23 billion of which are used by the residents of New York, the legislation is undoubtably a win for sustainability. However, it's important to note that there will be quite a few exceptions, including take-out bags from your beloved local Chinese eatery, bags used to package deli meat, and trash and recycling bags. (So if you feel like enacting self-imposed laws to cut back on those, too, good on you.)
"[T]hese bags have blighted our environment and clogged our waterways," said New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who first proposed the plan a year ago. The bill will also allow counties to tack a 5-cent fee on paper bags that would go directly to the state's Environmental Protection Fund as well as another designed to provide citizen with reusable bags.
"[T]hese bags have blighted our environment and clogged our waterways." —New York governor Andrew Cuomo
The states of New York and California are in good company. Every county in Hawaii has also banned plastic bags (effectively putting the number of states with a ban at three), reports National Geographic. Additionally, 127 countries throughout the world have ditched single-use bags. Earlier this week, the European Parliament jumped on the bandwagon, placing a ban on the 10 items found most often on European beaches—including, of course, plastic bags—by 2021. On a smaller (but still critical!) scale, grocery story chains like Kroger have also discontinued usage in their 2,700 stores across America.
Progress is slow, folks, but we're getting there. To celebrate, why not shop for a reusable tote? To (kinda) quote Oprah: "You get a tote! You get a tote!"
Shop 6 reusable bags that are way cuter than plastic.
Here's the deal with plastic smog (and what it's doing to the oceans). And ICYMI, vegan leather is getting the sustainability treatment.
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