Starting December 1, 2019, a ban on single-use, carryout plastic bags, and a 5-cent fee for paper bags distributed at check-out by retailers and other business in the Town of Mamaroneck, will go into effect.
The Town Board passed the “Mamaroneck Bag Waste Reduction Law” in advance of the New York State law, which is expected to become effective March 1, 2020.
Town Supervisor Nancy Seligson explains, “As a NYS-designated Climate Smart Community, we recognize that the ban on single-use plastic bags is essential to the well-being of a sustainable community. We appreciate the cooperation of residents and businesses as we make a smooth transition to reusable bags.”
Making a transition to reusable bags will reduce pollution and ease factors impacting climate change, according to a report by the Department of Environmental Conservation. Statewide, New Yorkers use about 23 billion plastic bags every year.
Other communities in Westchester County and elsewhere across New York State have implemented similar single-use plastic bag rules. Hastings-on-Hudson, New Castle, Rye, and Rye Brook already have bag laws on the books. Studies show that mandating a fee on paper bags encourages the use of reusable bags and store managers have not reported customer declines as a result of the ban.
Some businesses and consumers will be exempt from the Mamaroneck ban. Restaurants will be permitted to offer plastic bags for take-out food. No charges will apply to bags used for fish, meat and produce, dry cleaning, and prescription medication. Residents utilizing the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are also exempt from the fee.
Free reusable bags featuring exclusive Town of Mamaroneck designs will be distributed while supplies last at the Mamaroneck Senior Center/VFW facility located at 1288 Boston Post Road, through local stores, and at the Town Supervisor’s office, 740 W Boston Post Road, second floor, Mamaroneck. ( Please call 914-381-7805 for Senior Center and Supervisor’s Office hours.)
If you cannot get one of the free reusable bags, experts at the Natural Resources Defense Council recommend you choose one that is durable, made mostly from recycled content, and produced organically. If you can compost it at the end of its life, you –and the environment– will get the most value.
Photo courtesy NRDC.org/Robert Birch