The plastic bag is seeing it’s final days in New York State. Today marks the first day of the New York State Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act , otherwise known as the “Plastic Bag Ban”. Under this new law, plastic bag use is banned for distribution by anyone required to collect state sales tax in New York. What this means for shoppers is #BYOBagNY.
Despite being in the pipeline for sometime, as a very strong possibility, the law is catching many people off guard. Many are basically just pissed about the whole thing. Like most, I can hardly remember a time when I didn’t receive one, if not too many, plastic bags when going to the bodega, the supermarket, the department store, or my local dollar store. Before plastic, there used to be a time when all you got were paper bags from all of those same stores. Many people will never appreciate the time before the plastic bag.
I was asked whether or not I was in favor of the Plastic Bag Ban, and, as I suspect for many, that is a tough question to answer. Regardless of your stance on the ban, if you reside in New York State, you still need to live with it because you will NOT receive any plastic bags with purchase and if you want a paper bag, you will have to cough up 5 cents per each paper bag. What does this mean for you? It means you need to bring your own bags to the store.
What Types Of Bags?
If you are concerned or confused about what types of bags you, as a customer, can bring with you to the store, you’d be in the right because there are so many options. The ban is NOT on what you, as a customer can bring, only on what the store can provide.
If you are like me, you may already have quite the stock pile of plastic bags, because on the occasions when I have been provided plastic bags for my purchases, I take them home and store them for later use. Also, in anticipation of the passing of this law, I also have quite a few of the reusable bags you can purchase from stores in a few different sizes. One of my favorite purchases of this type is the Aldi “crate” (because I am not even sure what else to call it, other than a cute foldable box). When I saw these in the store a few months back, I bought 3 of them, 2 of which I keep in my car (so it is available when I shop at Aldi…or any supermarket for that matter). The fold flat, have suitable handles on them to carry by hand or put over your shoulder, and they are pretty spacious. I also keep other reusable bags of various sizes in them, for those times when I am not doing a supermarket run, but rather smaller purchases.
In The End
While the transition will take some getting used to, and may be downright painful for some, in the end, we will all need to become accustomed to this new way of doing business. We have transitioned before we can do it again.
Consider the plastic bag “bagged ‘n tagged” in New York. #RIP