Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions

Bring Your Own Bag in the Village of Mamaroneck, NY

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As of April 1st, 2013, there will be no more disposable plastic bags offered at check-out counters in the Village of Mamaroneck. Last July, Mamaroneck Village became the second municipality in Westchester County, NY to ban disposable bags, after the City of Rye banned plastic bags in December, 2011. Both Rye and Mamaroneck, which lie on the Long Island Sound, decided to ban plastic bags in an effort to prevent plastic pollution from ending up at local parks and beaches, and to protect wildlife from plastic bags, which kill tens of thousands o f whales, birds, seals and turtles each year. After months of public education, the residents of Mamaroneck have officially switched over from disposable bags to reusable bags, and the willingness of retailers and residents to stop using plastic bags has set an example for other municipalities across New York State.

After Mamaroneck Village passed their local law banning plastic bags, the neighboring Village of Larchmont decided to take up the issue, as did the larger Town of Mamaroneck. Larchmont unanimously passed a ban on plastic bags on March 19th, and the Town of Mamaroneck will be holding a public hearing on this issue on April 3rd. The movement to ban plastic bags has spread throughout Westchester County as well, with Tuckahoe, Pelham, North Castle, and dozens of other communities now working to ban bags in their area. As more communities pass this type of legislation, as more retailers stop giving out free plastic bags, and as more consumers switch over to reusable bags, it becomes clear that plastic bags are an unnecessary and outdated relic of past throw-away society practices. Globally, the switch to sustainable, cost-effective reusable bags has already begun, and I look forward to seeing more people carrying reusable bags in Westchester and throughout New York.

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