“They’re everywhere, and there is no doubt they are doing a tremendous damage,” said Governor Cuomo in a meeting at Long Island University on Earth Day 2019.
New York State will finally ban plastic bags, beginning March 2020. This law was passed by Governor Cuomo with the goal of reducing pollution and waste, as well as protecting wildlife.
Stores will no longer be able to give plastic bags to consumers. Instead, there are various options, such as bringing your own reusable bags when shopping and paper bags offered in stores.
Most New Yorkers are content with this new law due to the fact that big changes are being made to help the Earth.
18 year old, Midtown Manhattan resident Hari Murugesan says, “Our generation has to be the one to take preventative measures to ensure the safety and well being of the Earth before we hit the point of no return.” Hari comes from a traditional Indian family where plastic bags are “a gift that keeps on giving” due to the fact that they have many uses when they are recycled. Although he already recycles plastic, he is looking forward to the new law because he wants more people to help prevent more damage to the environment.
There has also been a surprising number of New Yorkers that are already making changes of their own regarding plastic bags. In Queens, residents are glad to finally have the government support recycling plastic bags, since many of them already do this.
For 41-year-old Alma Jimenez, who lives in Corona, Queens, the ban of plastic bags is nothing new. The Mexican native shops a minimum of 5 times per week and recycles every single plastic bag and keeps them in a cabinet under the sink to use for other things. She says most Hispanics in the neighborhood do the same.
“I think nowadays people waste tons and tons of unnecessary plastic, and there needs to be changes done, so this law will definitely help the environment that we are responsible for,” she states.
College student Andrea Pineda, who also lives in this neighborhood, has very strong favorable opinions on this new law. “I used to live in Paris where plastic bags were banned, and I found out this so much more comfortable and convenient because you could bring your own bag everywhere; and now most Americans think that everything should be given to them on hand and fast such as plastic bags, so when they see the difference that this new law will make, it will not only be beneficial for the environment, but for our individual self,” she says. The 21-year-old also states the fact that the USA makes 30% of the worlds waste so New York is a great place to begin, since it is very populated and will cause a great change.
These New Yorkers interviewed stated that when March comes, they will take their reusable from home to go shopping. They are satisfied with the new law because it is finally making a difference to help our planet.
While some New Yorkers are content with this law being passed, others are not.
Fetpak, a big supply company that specializes in plastic bags is not happy. While they do offer paper bags, it will not be as much as the sales lost on plastic bags. “The increase in paper Bag sales does not make up for the decrease in plastic bags sales, especially in cases where there is a fee to the consumer,” says CEO from Fetpack, Wayne Fetta in an email. The law can therefore hurt businesses greatly and in the future put them out of business.
Other residents are simply annoyed that they won’t have plastic bags to use. 17-year-old Sebastian Gomez says, “I use plastic bags for many things in my house, what am I supposed to use now when they are gone?”
Although there are many alternative options for plastic bags, this won’t be enough to make up for all the plastic we use now. This new law will benefit most people, but the rest are annoyed that they might not find a better option to use.
“We got used to the standard of living of killing our environment, and this law is a step towards changing that,” says Andrea Pineda.