NYPIRG: 'Warwick is helping lead the way'


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Warwick residents should enthusiastically say “yes” to a fee on single use plastic bags.

Plastic bags, made of non-biodegradable plastic from fossil fuels, are a serious threat to the environment. These quickly discarded bags accumulate rather than decompose in landfills and the natural environment, creating not only street litter, but also damaging wildlife, befouling waterways and proliferating in our oceans.

The plastic chemicals ingested by wildlife and fish eventually make their way up the food chain and bio-accumulate before human consumption.

In New York, Suffolk County implemented a fee for plastic bags of five cents and the City of Long Beach a fee of 10 cents for most retail sales.

In both cases, residents are supportive and plastic bag trash has been reduced.

Unfortunately, not only has the state failed to address this issue, but it repealed New York City’s law without justification.

New York should follow California, whose law does two key things:

Bans single use plastic bags; and

Puts a fee on all others.

That law is working, with tremendous public support and a significant reduction in plastic bags — down 72 percent when compared to 2010.

Reducing bag waste will also benefit taxpayers by cutting the huge costs of cleaning up litter, disposing trash, and removing bags from sewers and water treatment systems.

Warwick is helping lead the way and NYPIRG urges all residents to support the proposition while pushing for a ban and fee state law.

Tammy Merilan

Policy Associate

New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG)



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