Gallery: New York Mayor Proposes Charge on Plastic Bags


Recently New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed that NYC begin charging shoppers 6 cents for each plastic bag issued at the register. The policy is the latest attempt by the city to go green and reduce its environmental footprint, and it comes several months after Ireland introduced a similar tax that cut the use of plastic bags by 94%.

Under Bloomberg’s plan New York would join a growing number of cities including Ireland and Melbourne that have chosen to actively deter the use of plastic bags. The proposal differs from recent measures in Los Angeles and San Francisco, where plastic bags are being banned for certain uses, such as grocery shopping.

Bloomberg’s proposal will likely be controversial, so it will provide an incentive for compliance by giving one out of every 6 cents to store owners. We sure hope that the city council sees the large impact that such a small fee could have. If they are looking for an example, they need only go to the IKEA store in Brooklyn, where a small charge of 5 cents per bag cut the demand by half.

Via New York Times


or your inhabitat account below


  1. donnavermeer October 21, 2010 at 11:49 am

    he’s on a roll but what about all those nasty plastic bags from cleaners?

  2. Suzipoo November 12, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Ireland has had the plastic bag levy since around 2002 and all of the revenue gained goes to the Irish government who (say they) use this to invest in green technologies and support sustainable development.

    In my opinion, it has been very successful – mainly because we do not wish to pay for plastic bags and so recycle or use totes etc a lot more (hence the drastic reduction in plastic bag use). However, if one needs, for 15c (euros) one can buy a plastic bag where at least the revenue is intended for good use.

    I have recently moved to the UK where there is no such levy but a few \\\’enterprisig\\\’ businesses have decided to start charging for bags in an effort to \\\’encourage\\\’ customers to bring their own. This makes me uncomfortable – as it seems that they are manipulating a good idea to generate individual profit (not that I am against profit per se) but if I have to pay for a crappy quality plastic bag merely for environmental purposes, then I at least want to know that my 5p (or whatever) is giving something back to replace this environmental cost of this bag,

  3. gypsy November 11, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Same in South Africa – you pay for each plastic bag. I remembered when I move to Germany in the early 90\’s and I showed up at the grocery store the first time with out a canvas bag. I did not only paid for the plastic bag but was given a lecture with an \”evil eye\” look! That was the last time I showed up with out a canvas bag. A happen I still have.
    I say charge every one 50c a bag in the states.

  4. SPG November 10, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    Europe has had a bag fee since at least the late 80’s in many stores and here in Seattle we’re doing the same thing starting in January. It’s hardly controversial for anyone who’s travelled at all, but the exurban libertarians are up in arms over it.

  5. sweetandtasty November 10, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    The idea is nothing new. In Korea, they’ve been charging plastic bags for years. They’ve been charging at least 1 won (roughly 1 dollar) for each bag. I think the plastic bags should be more expensive in New York. 6 cents is not enough to make people bring their own bags.

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home