February 7, 2017

Speaker Heastie Statement on Passage of Moratorium On New York City Carryout Bag Fee

Today's vote to enact a moratorium on New York City's local law to impose a fee on carryout bags is not an ending, it is a beginning.

We all share the same goal of reducing plastic waste and improving our environment. As drafted, there were a number of issues with the local law that made State action necessary. First, it has the potential to negatively impact working poor households and senior citizens disproportionately. It also mandates that stores could charge any amount for carryout bags, starting at five cents. The fee would go directly to store owners and not to targeted environmental programs as mandated in many other programs around the country

It makes sense to press the pause button on this fee in order to do a more thorough investigation on the best ways to reduce paper and plastic waste in our environment. Over the coming months we will work with environmental advocates, community groups, the public, and our partners in government to develop a solution that works for everyone.