The Truth About Plastic Retail Bags: Affordable, Recyclable and Right for New Yorkers
Some lawmakers in New York City are considering a tax on plastic and paper retail bags - which includes the ones you get at the grocery store. They want you to think this proposal will be good for the environment and good for New Yorkers, but here are the real facts you should know:
A regressive tax is wrong for New Yorkers.
- A tax on plastic and paper retail bags will hurt New York City’s most vulnerable citizens: low income workers and seniors.
- A bag tax increases costs of daily necessities and disproportionally burdens those who can least afford it. Residents of Park Slope may be able to afford a bag tax, but those who live in some of the neediest communities will have trouble making ends meet.
- Mayor de Blasio and his administration, including the Department of Consumer Services, made a strategic policy change earlier this year to reduce the amount of regulation and fines levied at small businesses. A tax on retail bags is counter-intuitive.
- A majority of New Yorkers see this bill as a distraction from more important issues. Most New Yorkers are more likely to support a recycling education campaign than a regressive tax on the working poor.
Plastic bag regulation is not a priority for New York residents.
- A recent survey of 1,000 New York City residents found that, by a margin of 2:1, voters believe taxing plastic bags is a distraction from the important issues on which lawmakers should be focused. New Yorkers think job creation (24%), affordable housing (22%) and quality public schools (18%) are the most important issues for lawmakers to address.
- 1,800 working families in New York State rely on the plastic bag manufacturing and recycling sector for their livelihoods. Directly jeopardizing the companies that support these families with well-paying manufacturing jobs is unacceptable and attacks the people that Mayor de Blasio swore to protect during his campaign.
Plastic bags are reusable and recyclable.
- Plastic bags are also 100% recyclable, and 82% of New Yorkers report always reusing their plastic bags.
- There are recycling drop-off bins already implemented all over New York City, allowing accessibility of plastic bag recycling for New Yorkers.
- The most frequently used bag among New York City voters is the plastic retail bag, with 65% choosing plastic over cloth, reusable and paper bag alternatives.
- More than 90% of consumers reuse plastic retail bags as wastebasket liners, lunch totes, or to pick up pet waste, among many other uses.
Think this is bad for New York City? Sign our petition to take a stand against a tax on paper and plastic retail bags today!