Success: Major City Approves Plastic Bag Fee

Target: Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker, New York City Council

Goal: Praise city’s efforts to protect the environment with new disposable bag fee.

The New York City Council recently approved a five cent fee for all plastic and paper bags, thanks to pressure from environmental activists and petitions, like this one on ForceChange. Plastic bags are a major source of waste. They end up in landfills where they don’t break down, or they end up in oceans where they threaten marine wildlife. About 700 marine species are endangered at least partly because of plastic pollution in oceans. Marine animals become entangled in the plastic, or they consume it and damage their intestines.

About 2 million plastic bags are used per minute, globally. That’s an awful lot of plastic that will likely only be used once and then discarded. Bag fees can help to solve the problem of plastic pollution by encouraging people to use reusable bags instead. Since the average American uses about 350 plastic bags per year, the New York City bag fee could prevent the use of almost 3 billion plastic bags every year. That’s a lot of plastic that will never go into our landfills or our oceans.

This bag fee is a positive step forward for New York City in its quest to reduce waste. Sign the petition below to thank the City Council for approving this measure.


Dear Speaker Mark-Viverito,

I want to thank you and the Council for approving a 5-cent bag fee, which will help cut down on New York City’s waste. Single-use grocery bags are incredibly wasteful items that end up occupying space in landfills or polluting oceans. When they end up in oceans, plastic bags are extremely harmful to wildlife. Animals eat the bags because they they look like prey, or get tangled in them. This can cause severe injury or even death. About 700 species of marine animals are endangered at least partly because of the threat of plastic pollution. In order to save wildlife, we must discourage the use of plastic.

New York City produces twice as much trash as any other major city in the world, so the city has a lot of work to do to become more environmentally conscious. This bag fee is a major step forward. It will hopefully discourage shoppers from using single-use bags and prevent massive amounts of plastic from entering landfills and oceans. I thank you for voting in favor of this measure, and I hope you continue to make environmentally conscious decisions like this in the future.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Kate Ter Haar

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One Comment

  1. Bout time. We have been doing this for years.

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