(New City, NY) -- Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) along with Riverkeeper gave out free reusable bags to customers at the DeCicco Family Market in New City on Sunday. The effort to help remind shoppers about the new plastic bag ban, which took effect in New York State.
"We want shoppers to go into the Supermarket prepared and know that this small change will have a lasting impact on our environment and waterways," said Senator David Carlucci.
Carlucci, a champion for environmental legislation co-sponsored the bill to help our environment by preventing litter and reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with plastic bag production and disposal.
"The greatest issue of our time is climate change," said Senator David Carlucci. "We need to be aggressively leading the nation to reduce our carbon footprint. Plastic bags are harmful to waterways and wildlife and are rarely recycled. With this legislation and other measures, New York is looking to lead the way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure our planet is here for future generations."
Riverkeeper who greatly supported the new law said the plastic bag ban will be a big help in keeping debris out of the Hudson River, as often plastic bags are not recycled and can end up in storm drains and water sources. Plastic bags are also harmful to wildlife that ingest the plastic or get caught in it.
“Beginning today, nature in New York will breathe a sigh of relief as billions of plastic bags disappear from use across our great state,” said Cliff Weathers, Communications Director for Riverkeeper. “We encourage everyone to do their part for the environment and build the habit of carrying reusable bags when shopping. On May 2, volunteers will join the Riverkeeper Sweep to do their part to clean up the Hudson River and its tributaries, and we know that because of this law we will find fewer plastic bags polluting our river.”
It's estimated in New York that more than 23 billion plastic bags are used a year, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Rockland County did not opt-in to charge customers five cents for a paper bag under the new law, but many businesses are charging for paper so to save money, Carlucci recommends a reusable bag.
If you do not have one, Carlucci said he is offering free bags at his New City office until they run out.