The New York City Council passed a bill by the margin of 44-2 that requires large stores and retail chains to collect and recycle plastic bags, reports the New York Times. The legislation, which applies to stores of 5,000 square feet or more, requires stores that give the bags to customers to provide recycling bins in prominent places. It will take effect six months after Mayor Bloomberg signs it, which he’s expected to do.Consumers can drop off bags from any store, not just the one where the bin is located, but the Department of Sanitation will not be collecting them. Instead, stores will have to contract to have them removed. The article claims that New Yorkers use one billion plastic bags a year.
When Ms. Quinn, who is considering a mayoral run in 2009, introduced the bill in October, it seemed the issue would be a hot one, especially since John Castimatidis, the Gristedes supermarket magnate who is also considering a run for mayor, opposed it. But the criticism faded when the bill received support from The Food Industry Alliance, which represents 750 supermarkets in the city, and Progressive Bag Affiliates, a trade group that represents plastic bag manufacturers.