State Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R, Syosset) announced today the passage of the “Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act,” The bill requires that certain retail stores establish an in-store recycling program for plastic shopping bags. The plastic bags will be labeled encouraging consumers to return the bags to the store for recycling. In addition, the option of purchasing reusable shopping bags will be provided.
“The passage of this legislation guarantees that a comprehensive statewide approach is available to stores making it easier for consumers to participate in the recycling program,” said Senator Marcellino, “.”
"We appreciate Senator Marcellino's hard work and partnership with Assemblyman Bob Sweeney to craft a plastic bag recycling bill that will be uniform for all of New York State," said Retail Council of New York State President and CEO James R. Sherin. "The Senator's bill ensures that retailers will have a single standard to follow, meaning that compliance will be much less problematic and our ability to collect and recycle plastic shopping bags will be that much more effective. Retailers look forward to continuing our partnership with Senator Marcellino to keep New York State clean and green."
An estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year. Billions end up as litter or take up valuable space in landfills. Plastic bags are not biodegradable, they break instead down into smaller toxic bits that contaminate soil and waterways and suffocate marine life. Additionally, it takes over 12 million barrels of oil each year to manufacture plastic bags. The bill is awaiting the approval of Governor Paterson.
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