New York is Getting Rid of Plastic Bags.
As of March 1, 2020, you won’t be able to get plastic shopping bags in New York City. New York State is going to become the second state in the union to ban plastic shopping bags. This idea is not all that uncommon, 127 countries have placed taxes or bans on plastic bags and Europe began phasing them out fifteen years ago.
This trend is steadily hitting the United States, as climate change and pollution problems prove to be worsening. In 2019, we are fully aware of the issues that plastic causes, from production to disposal. Plastic bags are made from refined oils or cracked natural gasses. This means that not only is the reckless disposal of plastic bags an issue, but the creation and sourcing of these products causes destruction itself.
Aware that there is a subset of the population not convinced that humans are destroying the world, we’d like to point to some facts. 23,000,000,000 plastic bags were used annually by New York state residents. A dead whale found in the Philippines had more than 88 lbs. of plastic in its stomach. A 2010 study showed that between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are being used annually.
Say what you want about your beliefs, but the sheer number of plastic bags in production each year is astonishing.
“Big” Plastic Bag
Companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron, Dow Chemical and Shell along with Plastic Bag Lobbies have an extreme influence in politics. You heard that right, there are plastic bag lobbies such as “Save the Plastic Bag” and “Progressive Bag Affiliates” which exist solely to keep plastic bags around. The American Chemistry Council spent more than $1,000,000 to influence Seattle’s local vote on plastic bags, the historically progressive city sided with plastic bags over the environment.
Plastic Shopping bags are very hard to recycle. Their fluid shape and lightweight clog recycling machines and damage equipment.
When all is said and done, New York City will save $12.5 million annually not having to dispose of plastic bags. They will no longer have to deal with 1,700 tons of residential garbage on a weekly basis. Less trash, less pollution.
Lastly, there is a sincere rebellion against these restrictions aimed at helping the environment. Despite political beliefs, it’s important to care about the planet we live on. Try some alternatives and skip out on a single-use plastic bag from time to time. These bans are coming, plastic bags will one day be obsolete. The collection of bags in your pantry will one day be a collection of antiques.
If you would like to learn the specifics of the New York bag ban, click here.