The Bitter Truth
It has come as very recent news that New York is set to make a significant change throughout the state. What’s happening? We’ll reveal the story very shortly. Firstly, let’s set the scene for you. Recent findings of The Associated Press have shocked thousands, stating that in New York alone, people have been using up to 23 million plastic bags every year. When we are saying ‘using up’ we mean using them once to take their shopping home, then chucking it in the trash as if it’s gone forever.
Can you believe it? What’s worse is that plastic bags can only be used once, meaning that the non-biodegradable products get left with no other option but to clog up our environment. This has caused an enormous crisis for wildlife – both on land and underwater, these creatures often find the bags hanging from trees or in shared spaces, so confuse them for food. Not only this, but underwater creatures such as sea turtles often mistake the lightweight bags for jellyfish, which is a favorite in their diet.
If you think the news about the detrimental effects of plastic bags on our environment is a brand new phenomenon, you’d be wrong. Sadly, this has been a commonly known fact for several years now – so why has this ban has only come into effect now, we wonder? Society set various rules over the years in an attempt to reduce the levels of plastic bags polluting our environment, so we guess the authorities haven’t wholly ignored what’s been going on.
Starting all the way back in 2000, customers began seeing taxes placed on their shopping bags (usually around a 5-cent charge) and soon enough the trend hit the world by storm. This tactic was intended to deter people from constantly buying new bags and investing in reusable ones. Today, there are at least 127 nations which have placed a tax on their plastic bags, and we couldn’t feel prouder at the progress! Unfortunately, bigger measures needed to be taken to make a real difference in this world. Cue the genius New York plan!
Putting a New Rule in Place
The time finally arrived for officials to try and put an end to this shocking statistic. What happened? The big lawmakers over in Albany followed the advice of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and stated that the plastic bags serving only a single-use purpose will be banned from retail sales. All the environmentalists of the world cheer in absolute joy, and we bet the animals will too!
Those of you who keep up-to-date with the latest eco-friendly news will be aware that this is not an entirely new trend. Back in 2016, the state of California bid farewell to single-use plastic bags, with Hawaii also jumping on the bandwagon in 2018 and it would appear, they’ve not looked back ever since! It would only follow suit for such a famous state like New York to eventually hop onto the environmentally-conscious cause too.
The Bigger Picture
So, when is this master plan set to take place? Reports have announced the ban will come into action next March. So, just under a year and the environment will see a colossal drop in its pollution levels, that’s one large step for mankind! This means that whenever you take a trip to the store, you will not be chucking your items into your trusty plastic bag, but possibly met by a 5-cent fee for a paper bag, a charge which goes towards the Environmental Protection Fund. Several officials believe that in a few years’ time, we will be wondering why this law wasn’t set in stone years before.
Of course, this rule comes with it’s fair share of exceptions. Certain take-out restaurants will still be incorporating the use of single-use plastic bags for their products, as well as garment bags and newspaper bags – you can’t have it all, we guess! Having said this, the movement has certainly inspired certain places to up the prevention of plastic products. Maryland, for example has set a ban on polystyrene food containers throughout the entire region.