With New York state’s ban on single-use plastic bags taking effect March 1, Westchester County legislators will consider whether to implement a fee on paper bags.
The statewide law allows counties to opt into a five-cent fee on paper bags, with three cents going to New York’s Environmental Protection Fund and the remaining two cents to help local governments provide reusable shopping bags to residents. The Westchester County Board of Legislators Committees on Legislation and Environment and Health will take up the legislation. Some county legislators say the paper-bag fee has been shown to inspire consumers to switch to reusables. Board Chair Ben Boykin wants to be sure residents who don’t benefit from a state exemption for the fee but for whom fees are still a hardship can still obtain bags without cost.