New York retailers have begun giving up single-use plastic bags as the state prepares for the March 1 implementation of a ban aimed at reducing pollution, but many of those who support a move away from plastic are worried the new law doesn’t go far enough.
The law bars many types of businesses from using the thin plastic bags that have been clogging up landfills, getting tangled in trees and accumulating in lakes and seas. Single-use paper bags will still be allowed, but counties have the option of imposing a 5 cent fee.
As the deadline to drop plastic bags nears, though, not all environmentalists are ready to celebrate.
Some worried that the state’s new regulations could include a loophole that would allow stores to skirt the ban by handing out plastic bags thick enough to be considered suitable for multiple uses.
The regulations allow stores to hand out plastic bags if they are washable, can be used at least 125 times, carry 22 pounds over at least 175 feet, and have an attached strap that doesn’t stretch with normal use. Regulators also proposed that any reusable plastic bags be at least one-hundredth of an inch thick. That’s thicker than required in California, which also limits the use of single-use plastic bags.
Shoppers are encouraged to start using sturdy reusable bags, such as those made of canvas or polyester, said Basil Seggos, commissioner of the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation. His agency says the plastic industry probably lacks the machinery to produce thicker plastic bags that meet New York’s proposed standard and still be cost effective.
Several major chains, including the grocer Wegmans, have already made the switch away from plastic.
Plastic bag manufacturers are also calling for New York to delay or weaken its ban because of concerns over the supply of multiuse bags.
Burgass Bags here in the UK make twisted handled paper bags; and flat tape handle paper bags and grab paper bags . So not only will you be ordering great value, local paper bags you will also be helping the environment.
This post was written by UK Carrier Paper Bag Maker