Recently, a bill was introduced in the NYC Council to charge a 10 cents fee for the use of all plastic and paper carry out bags at checkout counters.  Distribution of free reusable bags by the City will also be required by the bill.  The bill’s sponsors hope this measure will result in a decrease of disposable bag litter and promote the use of reusable bags.

New York City spends ten million dollars a year to send  100,000 tons of plastic bags to landfills.  A coalition of groups including the Sierra Club, the Community Environment Committee, the No Impact Project and others are working with Councilman Brad Lander of Brooklyn to get the measure passed.  It’s important to note that this bill will not ban plastic bags but it will discourage their use.  I guess the Councilman decided not to try for an outright ban of plastic bags because that would not go over well in the City Council.  The question is: Will the bill pass the City Council and if so, how much will it have to be watered down and altered for it to pass?

Although, the measure calls for the City to educate New Yorkers about the need to use reusable bags, there will definitely be a role to play for organizations like Green City Challenge.  The mission of GCC is to educate New Yorkers about ways to live, work and eat green.  A major part of our mission is to teach people to reduce waste.  Encouraging New Yorkers to use reusable bags instead of disposable bags is very important and we want to do everything in our power to help New Yorkers reduce their use of disposable plastic bags.

What do you think of this bill?  Do you think it will pass the City Council?  What do you think GCC should do regarding this bill?  Are you willing to give some of your valuable time and energy to make sure the bill passes and becomes law?

To get involved, please write to me at  I look forward to hearing from you!