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Westchester Legislators To Consider Paper Bag Fee

Feb 24, 2020

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.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos speaks at the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York
Lucas Willard / WAMC

With less than three weeks before New York’s ban on single-use plastic bags takes effect, the state Department of Environmental Conservation is pushing to get the word out about the change.

A plastic bag
Josh Landes / WAMC

Beginning in March, New York will ban single-use plastic bags at grocery stores and other retail outlets, which supporters believe will cut down on residents’ use of an estimated 23 billion plastic bags each year. State regulators released new rules to enforce the changes, and groups on both sides of the issue say those rules are flawed.

A plastic bag
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Vermont House has given preliminary approval to a bill that would ban single-use plastic bags.

A plastic bag
Josh Landes / WAMC

The town of Middlebury could become the next Vermont community to ban single-use plastic bags.

Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

On Earth Day, there were a number of events and new commitments throughout the Hudson Valley, including a visit from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. He was at the Kingston waterfront Monday to sign a plastic bag ban. Plus, a state Senator is introducing a bill she says will improve the environment.

    After hearing from residents Monday night, the City Council in Springfield, Massachusetts is poised to take a final vote on an ordinance to ban single-use plastic shopping bags.

    New York, beginning next March, will ban retailers from giving customers single-use plastic shopping bags. Is Massachusetts next?

A plastic bag
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Vermont Senate has given preliminary approval to a bill that would ban single-use plastic bags.

A plastic bag
Josh Landes / WAMC

On Town Meeting Day, three towns in Vermont approved non-binding resolutions calling on their communities to ban the use of plastic bags.  Other towns in the state had previously passed similar measures.  Sponsors of a bill in the Vermont Senate hope this week’s support will lead to progress in the Statehouse for their proposal.

A movement to ban single-use plastic bags is gaining momentum in Vermont as voters in at least three more communities supported such a ban on Town Meeting Day.

Ulster County Exec Signs Plastic Bag Ban Bill

Oct 20, 2018

In New York, the Ulster County executive has signed a plastic bag ban that will go into effect next summer.

Taber Andrew Bain/Flickr

A state panel created to study how to reduce the environmental impact of disposable plastic grocery bags has released a report, but makes no recommendation.

A New York task force focused on combatting pollution caused by single-use plastic bags has submitted recommendations to Governor Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers.


As the holiday shopping season hits its peak, not only are consumers buying lots of gifts, they are accumulating an incredible number of plastic bags.  Combined with the ongoing plastic bag use, New Yorkers gets an incredible number of plastic bags – almost always for one, and only one-time, use.  According to the Cuomo Administration, “residents use 23 billion plastic bags annually.  A significant number of these bags make their way into the environment causing litter and damaging wildlife, which can be seen within our waterways, along our streets and in our oceans and lakes.  Moreover, these bags do not biodegrade – they persist for years.”

Dalton Approves Ban On Plastic Bags

Jun 27, 2017
wikipedia commons

Dalton has become the latest Western Massachusetts community to approve a ban on plastic bags. 

londonista_londonist/Flickr

Vermont legislators are considering proposals aimed at curbing the use of plastic shopping bags.

Advocates claim momentum is building for banning disposable plastic bags from retail checkout counters in Massachusetts despite setbacks in the state legislature and in two of the state’s largest cities.

Trash Fest Comes To An Ulster County Town

Jun 3, 2016
Courtesy of TRASH FEST

An Ulster County town will host its first Trash Fest beginning this weekend. And part of the month-long festival includes discussion about cutting down on plastic bags.

wikipedia commons

Another Berkshires community is attempting to ban businesses from using plastic shopping bags and other items like Styrofoam.

Mollie VanSant

Come March, stores in Great Barrington, Massachusetts will not be allowed to use the plastic bags retailers have been dishing out for years.

A campaign called Bring Your Own Bag Saratoga, a project from the group Sustainable Saratoga, is reaching out to city government, businesses and members of the public to decrease the use of plastic shopping bags.

The group is hoping to reduce pollution and encourage city residents to shop with reusable bags. Though plastic shopping bags are recyclable, the group claims less than five percent of bags are recycled, and most can only be recycled into other products once. If released into the environment, plastic bags cause harm to birds and marine animals.