NewYork; #BanPlasticBags; #EnvironmentBenefits; #BYOBagNY; #fisheriesAndOceans
New York, Feb 28 (Canadian-Media): The habit of the use of 23 billion plastic bags each year by New York residents, is about to change, starting Sunday when most businesses will stop handing out thin, single-use plastic bags, media reports said.
Single-use plastic bags ban. Image credit: Facebook
Shoppers have been encouraged by the the state to carry reusable bags through a public education campaign called #BYOBagNY, and signs have been posted by many stores to alert customers to the change.
Penalties of $250 for a first violation and $500 for a repeat could be faced by the merchants. There were a few exceptions on certain items, including uncooked meat, sliced or prepared food and prescription drugs where the stores were allowed to give out single-use plastic bags including restaurants for takeout.
The decision of lawmakers last March to impose statewide ban on the of the single-use plastic bags frequently given out at other stores were taken favorably by some New Yorkers citing the benefits to the environment, while others were concerned how the law will affect their daily routine.
It is estimated that by 2050 plastic pollution in the oceans will outweigh fish.
The first state to ban of single-use plastic bags was in California in 2016 followed by Oregon where ban was put in place last month
But an effort to to pass a statewide ban in several towns in New Jersey on the use of single-use plastic bags died last month in the Assembly.