Today, March 1st 2020, sees New York State’s plastic bag ban come into effect, banishing all single-use plastic shopping bags from grocery stores, bodegas and other retailers.
According to the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), 23 billion plastic bags are typically used each year in New York state, with around 85% of those ending up on the streets, in landfills, waterways and recycling machines.
So, in an effort to reduce waste and protect the environment along with the cities wildlife, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation in March 2019 that would ban single-use plastic bags in the 5 borough state, in-turn introducing a new law aimed at swiftly transitioning to alternatives.
“Right this minute, plastic bags are hanging in trees, blowing down the streets, filling up our landfills and polluting our lakes, rivers and streams – all hurting our environment.
We took bold action to protect our environment and ban these environmental blights and with this campaign we’re going to make sure New Yorkers are ready and have all the facts.”
– Governor Andrew Cuomo
What Happens Now?
New York State stores will now be required to sell paper bags at $5 each, or alternatively offer sturdier reusable bags that can be used at least 125 times. Bags used for carrying uncooked meats, prescription drugs and dry cleaning can however all still be plastic.
Cost Concerns For Customers
Shoppers on low-income, concerned about the financial costs imposed upon them as a result of the new law, are encouraged to always think ahead, and carry with them their own supply of reusable bags when out and about on shopping trips.
In a bid to bring more social awareness to their cause, the DEC are promoting the hashtag – #BYOBagNY across social media, to encourage New Yorkers to get into the habit of carrying a reusable tote with them as a replacement.
To help those of you struggling to know what kind of replacements to buy, check out our pick of some the best plastic shopping bag alternatives below:
IKEA’s FRAKTA Bag
After being on sale for 30 years, the now iconic blue IKEA FRAKTA bag is one of the most “hardworking bags in the world” according to the European multinational group’s website.
Big, robust and able to carry most things, whether you are doing your weekly shop, dropping off your laundry or heading out on a day trip to the beach, this multipurpose bag will serve you well, wherever you wish to go!
BAGGU Standard Reusable Tote Bag
BAGGU pride themselves on creating products that will have “long and useful” lives, just like this reusable shopper tote – made of ripstop nylon with thick handles, perfect for hauling practically anything.
STARDUST EARTH Reusable Eco-Friendly Jute Bag
Designed with beautiful chic stripe fabric, Stardust Earth bags are the best foldable storage and organiser solution out there! With their sturdy rope handles offering extra support for even the most heaviest of items you may wish to purchase, we would highly recommend one of these nautical style carriers.
And, FYI… each bag is 100% compostable, making them the most environmentally-friendly reusable bag option on the market.
Reisenthel Carrybag Fabric Picnic Tote
Classic in it’s look, yet unique in it’s form and function, whether you are out shopping, visiting a market or heading to meet friends for a summer picnic, this Reisenthel “Icons and Originals” Carrybag Fabric Picnic Tote is one of our absolute favourite alternatives to the everyday plastic bag.
Whatever your reaction to New York State’s plastic bag ban, at some point or another, we are all going to have to acknowledge and admit the harsh reality of what is happening to our planet right now.
For some, not having the option of being able to readily grab a plastic bag whilst buying their groceries will be one inconvenience too many. Whilst others will see the new law as a necessary step in the right direction, in the governments efforts to try and combat climate change.
Let us know your thoughts on the matter over on Twitter @Fuzzable now!