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Rally to ban plastic bags

Plastic menace: Slopers rally to ban the bag

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Park Slope became ground zero of the anti-plastic bag movement on Monday when a coalition of tree-huggers demanded the city ban the ubiquitous delivery paraphernalia.

Several green advocacy organizations kicked off a campaign to pass a new law that would forbid the use of plastic bags by stores during a public forum with Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) at Seventh Avenue’s Greenwood Baptist Church. Dozens of Slopers attended the discussion which highlighted the environmental hazards the bags, which get stuck in trees and clog sewers when they are not disposed of properly, and are believed to take an extremely long time to break down in landfills.

And panelists said its about time the government does something about the plastic menace.

“This is an area where public policy can make a very concrete difference very quickly,” said Lander.

Seattle, San Francisco, and as of this week, Los Angeles have banned the free flimsy plastic bags, and Lander said that this is a trend New Yorkers, who could use more than one billion plastic bags a year, should get behind.

“The cities that have passed these bills have seen 60- and 70- percent reductions in their plastic bag waste,” said the councilman.

An interactive community art piece dubbed the “Plastic Bag Mandala” was set up outside the church and people walking by were asked to pin their bags to the wall in exchange for a free reusable tote bag.

“It was made as a way to engage people in plastic bags,” said creator Gala Narezo. “It’s a method to have a dialog in the community.”

And for some, the technique worked.

“I’m going to start being more conscious of my ways,” said Boro Park resident, Steven Rivera who made the switch.

Lander said he plans to introduce legislation this summer that would dramatically reduce the use of plastic bags in the city through either a fee or tax on their use, or with an outright ban.

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at nmusumeci@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at twitter.com/souleddout.
Updated 10:12 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Bob Scott from Brooklyn says:

This is an ill-advised, anti-urban, anti-envrionment proposal.

While New Yorkers SHOULD be ENCOURAGED to use "go bags" and such, plastic bags should NOT be BANNED or TAXED. The availability of plastic bags, particularly in supermarkets, allows New Yorkers to carry heavy loads without using motor vehicles — a plus for the environment.

Instead of focusing on urban dwellers, who are by definition more considerate regarding their carbon footprint than are their suburban and country cousins, legislators should deal with a the environmental sin committed by suburbanites every time they drive to a supermarket. IMPOSE A TAX on every vehicle entering a suburban supermarket parking lot, or even a surcharge on every item sold in suburban markets.

This would be AT LEAST as environmentally sound an idea as taxing or banning plastic bags in the city.
June 28, 2013, 10:02 am
ty from pps says:
Umm... Bob Scott, what are you saying? People with cars don't need/use bags? If a bag wasn't available (or at least not for free), people would buy a car and then dump all of their groceries directly into their trunk... then when they got home... umm... they shovel their groceries out of the trunk into a conveyor belt or some sort of magical machine.

What these folks are talking about is charging for bags if you don't have one. And *not* charging for a bag if you already have one. What sort of "encouragement" do you suggest?

Let's look at a simple example... Bodegas could save A LOT of money not giving out a plastic bag for every damn purchase. Do you really need a bag for that bottle of coke you're going to *immediately* drink? However, this is expected by the consumer. You buy something, it gets put in a bag. Folks in this town expect a f*cking cup of coffee to be put in a bag for chrissake! A bag for a coffee!

You need an economic incentive/disincentive to get behavior like this to change. Lots of individual stores do this without the outrage you seem to be experiencing -- it's just not widespread because it's not required.

I'm still really confused by your comment... please explain. Residents of New York City didn't carry things before plastic bags were invented? This must have been a crazy place to live.... Imagine trying to feed your family when you could only carry 2 things at a time before the magical plastic bag was invested.
June 28, 2013, 1:29 pm
ty from pps says:
Related to the coffee in a bag comment... this is the only city in the WORLD where I've see McDonald's give you a special bag to carry your drink in. It's a cup with a straw that fits in your hand -- what is the bag for?! Not everything needs a bag.
June 28, 2013, 1:32 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Remember when the cause of the day was to use plastic bags to save the trees, even though old growth forest was not cut down to make paper bags. That was what was good for the earth that week.

Now we have another cause of the week- ban plastic bags!

Even though what you call plastic is often mixed with corn starch to make it break down in UV rays, and the plastic that is used comes from a waste product of oil refining, that will once again be a waste product.
June 28, 2013, 2:24 pm
ty from pps says:
Or, it must be fun to be so smart...

(1) You must be right... whatever we are doing at this moment in time, must be the best option. Why should be let new information and advances in science persuade us otherwise? Right?

(2) Petroleum-based plastic bags do not biodegrade, but some do photodegrade -- so all of those plastic bags floating in the ocean will break down into small pieces so dolphins will be less likely to choke, but will poison all of the life lower on the food chain. And of course, if not exposed to light - thousands of years ain't enough.

(3) Plastic is made from waste products? Hmm... There is absolutely nothing true about that statement. (And even if it were true, the premise of your statement -- consuming more is actually good -- is just stupid.)
June 28, 2013, 3:12 pm
ty from pps says:
(And I should have said "fossil fuel-based" instead of petroleum.... the plastic for most shopping bags comes from processing natural gas into polyethylene. Is natural gas a waste product?)
June 28, 2013, 3:18 pm
Me from Bay Ridge says:
I often say "no bag." Sometimes the guy/gal behind the counter has the item in the bag before I get it out. A better idea than a ban is A) Have salespeople ask "Do you want a bag?" when it's clearly not necessary and B) require supermarkets to offer paper bags as well as plastic. When a shopper has a cart a large paper bag is much better than several small bags that flop all over the place. Also, don't most people use supermarket bags for their kitchen garbage? Won't they be buying bags for that purpose if they are banned?
June 28, 2013, 6:59 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Support the domestic paper industry - demand paper bags.
June 29, 2013, 6:52 am
old time brooklyn from slope says:
Instead of focusing on urban dwellers, who are by definition more considerate regarding their carbon footprint .....

Truly one of the dumbest statements I have ever seen here.
June 29, 2013, 8:54 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
This carbon based life form thanks you, and reminds you that everytime you open a Coca-Cola and release CO2, a polar bear dies!
June 29, 2013, 10:20 am
old time brooklyn from slope says:
what size coke?
June 29, 2013, 11:15 am
old time brooklyn from slope says:
what size coke?
June 29, 2013, 11:15 am
old time brooklyn from slope says:
what size coke?
June 29, 2013, 11:15 am
ty from pps says:
An interesting tidbit... the CO2 for fizzy drinks actually comes from purifying (a small amount) of the CO2 being belched by power plants, so there's no big increase in CO2 from Coke -- it would have been going into the air anyway -- just an increase in your waistline and tooth decay.
June 29, 2013, 11:33 am
Brooklyn from Wa-a-ay Back from Fltbsh says:
Amazing, fascinating, kinda revolting... how---tho there's some bickering about the specifics---no one seems to notice the inherent arrogance in everyone's readiness to legally BAN a widespread, essentially personal choice of using a simple, everyday item.

Yes, there's a bigger picture, and yes, it's good, and necessary, to be more responsible about the environment. And finally, yes, there's much waste in the way bags are distributed for every little thing.

But it's also hard not to see the irony---and glaring hypocrisy---in a borough whose population unabashedly & ceaselessly pats inself on the back for it's tolerance, openness & love of humanity---but is so utterly rigid, uncompromising, judgmental, narrow-minded and inclined to resort to oppressive, heavyhanded government intervention---all to prevent people from making their own damn choice of bag to carry their stuff.

What a bunch of pompous, self-righteous @$$es.
June 30, 2013, 1:30 pm
Brooklyn from Wa-a-ay Back from Fltbsh says:
Amazing, fascinating, kinda revolting... how---tho there's some bickering about the specifics---no one seems to notice the inherent arrogance in everyone's readiness to legally BAN a widespread, essentially personal choice of using a simple, everyday item.

Yes, there's a bigger picture, and yes, it's good, and necessary, to be more responsible about the environment. And finally, yes, there's much waste in the way bags are distributed for every little thing.

But it's also hard not to see the irony---and glaring hypocrisy---in a borough whose population unabashedly & ceaselessly pats inself on the back for it's tolerance, openness & love of humanity---but is so utterly rigid, uncompromising, judgmental, narrow-minded and inclined to resort to oppressive, heavyhanded government intervention---all to prevent people from making their own damn choice of bag to carry their stuff.

What a bunch of pompous, self-righteous @$$es.
June 30, 2013, 1:30 pm
K. from ArKady says:
Perhaps forcing businesses to reduce the amount of trash they sell with their products will cause there to be less trash strewn on the street after purchase?
July 1, 2013, 10:30 am

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