New York has finally passed a new Bag Waste Reduction Law that will take effect starting March 1, 2020. In New York State, over 23 billion plastic bags are used yearly, typically for only one time to bring goods home, then thrown out. Our environment sees bags stuck in trees, as litter, and floating in our waters. They pose a very significant harm to humans and wildlife.

In my previous blog post3 Reasons for Reducing Plastics‘, I explained that plastics have a huge carbon footprint. They do not break down as biodegradable products do. One can think of plastic as forever-lasting. They leach out toxins into our food and drinks, affecting our health.

There are many ways we are abusing animals. Using reusable products are helping abused animals.

The statistics are staggering. 2.5 billion metric tons of solid waste is produced globally. Of that staggering number, 275 million metric tons is plastic waste. 8 million metric tons of plastic enters our oceans. Sea life ingests plastic, potentially killing them or strangulating them. Seafood is then ingested by humans.

This Bag Waste Reduction law applies to grocery stores, clothing shops, home improvement stores and others. Consumers are urged to bring their own bags #BYOBagNY. Stores are not required to have bags available for customers. There will be a $.05 charge for each paper carryout bag provided at checkout, where not exempt. Some bags such as from pharmacy to carry prescription drugs are exempt.

Store that covered under the NYS Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act are required to collect plastic bags from consumers for recycling.

Consumers can bring their own bags, have them readily available in their cars and closets so that they don’t forget to take them when going shopping.

There are many great reusable bags for produce and other products. Samples are shown below. One can also consider avoiding to buy 6 packs with plastic rings around it. See what it does to turtles. Consumers can also purchase reusable products such as bottles and containers.