By Len Maniace
Decades after plastics bags were identified for their damage to the environment, the New York City Council finally took action last month, imposing a 5-cent charge on disposable plastic shopping bags.
But now, in an example of no good deed going unpunished, the New York State Legislature is considering undoing the city law, which affects only the five boroughs of New York City.
The bill is sponsored in the state Senate by Simcha Felder, a Brooklyn Democrat, who said the city law amounted “irritating people to change their behavior,” upending a well-established environmental principal of making the polluter pay. Local governments across the nation imposed deposits on disposable beverage bottles, which dramatically reduced the amount of bottles, often broken, covering our landscape.
Supporters of the plastic bag fee say it would work similarly, appealing to people’s pocket-book sense to switch to reusable bags, ending blizzards of plastic bags.