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Plastic Bag Ban Goes Into Effect March 1, City Giving Away Reusable Bags


Feb. 10, 2020 By Kristen Torres

City officials are giving away reusable bags throughout Queens ahead of a state-wide ban on single-use plastic bags.

The Department of Sanitation announced it will be giving away some 100,000 free reusable bags to city residents over the next three weeks. A state-wide plastic bag ban is set to begin on March 1.

Businesses will also begin to collect a five cent fee on carryout paper bags in New York City on that date—shoppers with their own reusable bags will not be charged.

“City residents use billions of single-use carryout bags every year, and they are frequently used for only a few minutes at a time,” Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said.

“This is not sustainable. Bring your reusable bag every time you shop, and help us keep the city healthy, safe and clean,” she added.

The city has distributed more than 700,00 reusable bags since 2016 to prepare residents for the change. State legislators passed the ban on single-use plastics last year.

Nearly 10 billion plastic bags are discarded in New York City each year, making up about 2.5 percent of all collected waste, according to the Department of Sanitation.

The Department collects more than 1,700 tons of single-use plastic bags every week.

City residents can receive a free, reusable bag at any of the events listed below.

Bag Distribution Event with State Senator John Liu
Feb. 20 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
203-05 32nd Ave.

Bag Distribution Event with Council Member Adrienne Adams
Feb. 21 from 1 to 3 p.m.
165-90 Baisley Blvd.

Bag Distribution Event with Council Member Peter Koo
Feb. 21 from 3 to 5 p.m.
135-27 38th Ave.

Bag Distribution Event with Northwest Bayside Civic Association
Feb. 25 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church, located at 34-24 203 St.

Bag Distribution Event with Council Member I. Daneek Miller
Feb. 29 from 1 to 4 p.m.
11521 Farmers Blvd.

Bag Distribution Event with Council Member Barry Grodenchik
Feb. 29 from 1 to 3 p.m.
Alley Pond Park Winter Activities and Games event, located at 79-20 Winchester Blvd.

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stan chaz

WHY should customers be nickel & dimed to death with a tax charge for paper bags?
Just as stores currently provide free plastic bags, they should now ALSO provide free paper bags (which are entirely recyclable, unlike plastic bags).
I wonder if these out-of-touch legislators ever go shopping? Do they think that we have developed pouches, likes kangaroos, as they themselves get everything delivered to them?
If stores do not provide free paper bags they will lose business, which in today’s online economy they cannot afford to do.
I will not patronize stores who don’t “leave us holding the bag” –the free paper bag that is.


If you ever go to any other country you’d realize that it’s a pretty normal scheme of things. People either pay for plastic bag or bring their own bag. America pollutes too much. Hopefully this reduces the pollution.

Sara Ross

I’ve always re-used my plastic bags but the plastic bags I get lately, even if what I buy is double bagged if it’s heavy (detergent, cans, etc.), the handle tears or the bag itself will get a hole. We should be more concerned about senseless murders and assaults in this city than the environment. An innocent person losing their life is more important than anything else.


You are concerned about quick death more than slow death? Plastic contributes to pollution through carcinogens being transferred to humans through either ingestion as micro plastics or through the effects of refining processes that are necessary for creating plastic. We should be concerned about any death, whether it’s a quick one or a slow one.


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