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ECOBAGS® was founded 26 years ago, in a little apartment in Washington Heights in New York City – the dream was of litter-less streets and trees that were only adorned with their own leaves and not the smiling faces of plastic bags.

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Still from NBC Universal’s “30 Rock”

.We at ECOBAGS® have been waiting for and are thrilled about the plastic bag bill that was signed by Mayor de Blasio on the 11th – it isn’t the perfect bill, it isn’t a ban on plastic bags in NYC, and it surely isn’t a ban on plastic bags throughout the states, but this bill, along with a series of other bills that have already been introduced throughout the U.S. and the ones are in line to be introduced are a start.

There’s a lot of conversations about the bill, especially from the people who make money from the production of these bags. There are people bemoaning the price of $0.05 a bag for low income communities; but bags will be free for anyone buying food with food stamps; and at the end of the day the ban isn’t about collecting the $0.05 fee, (the city doesn’t even get the fee, the retailer keeps it), it’s about reducing our dependence on the single use plastic bag. The city will even be giving away 100,000 reusable shopping bags, and for two weeks in April every year merchants will give away reusable shopping bags.

The bag bill is a good thing, and here’s some reasons why:

  • A 2013 report from the non-partisan Equinox Center found that in areas with plastic bag bans or fees the use of single-use plastics significantly declined.
  • A study in San Jose (after the bag ban was implemented) found that bag litter was reduced”approximately 89 percent in the storm drain system, 60 percent in the creeks and rivers, and 59 percent in City streets and neighborhoods.”
  • Though the average American family brings home approximately 1,500 single use plastic bags a year only 3% are recycled… and they are a pain to recycle.
  • One person’s switch to reusable grocery bags can save 22,000 plastic bags in one lifetime.
  • New York City alone accounts for the disposal of 9.37 billion single use plastic bags per year, costing the city a total of $12,500,000 to dispose of – that’s a lot of plastic bags potentially saved from disposal and definitely a lot of money saved!

It’s time to take the plunge, New York, buy some reusable bags and start “Cleaning up the planet, one bag at a time.”™

Written by: Mollie Mac