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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union
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plastic bags

plastic bags

  • State Legislators from New York City Should Not Be Bagging the Bag Fee

    plastic bag rally

    Elected officials and advocates rally outside City Hall (photo: @bradlander)


    New York City is trying to do something about plastic bags, but my state Assemblymember is attempting to undermine the city’s ability to do so. He, along with many of his NYC-based colleagues, are acting against their own constituents’ interests. This is a normal New York State versus City story, but in a moment where the stakes of politics are high because the federal government’s threats are real, this battle between city and state feels more offensive and disheartening than

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  • Early in Albany Session, Plastic Bag Fee Sparks Home Rule Debate

    felder bag fee city hall via scott reif

    Senator Felder & opponents of the bag fee (photo: Scott Reif)


    An attempt by lawmakers in Albany to prevent the New York City Council from imposing a fee on plastic and paper bags at retail stores has reignited a debate over home rule and the state government’s interference in the work of a democratically elected local legislative body.  

    The New York State Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that prohibits “the

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  • Time to Cut the High Cost of the Free Plastic Bag

    plastic bag fee rally

    A rally for the plastic bag fee bill (photo via @bradlander)


    It’s a fact: people who live in America’s most polluted environments are most commonly people of color and poor. New York City is no exception; thanks to decades of unfair policies, over 75 percent of the city’s entire solid waste stream is now processed in a handful of low-income neighborhoods and communities of color in the outer boroughs. Consequently, these communities bear the disproportionate burden of high truck traffic, diesel fuel emissions, unsanitary conditions, and noise

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  • Supporters Launch Renewed Push to Pass Plastic Bag Bill by Earth Day

    lander plastic bags

    Council Member Lander & young people against plastic bags (photo: William Alatriste)


    “Last year, we said bag fees by Earth Day,” Council Member Brad Lander told Gotham Gazette, shortly before an unrelated committee hearing at City Hall. “I’m saying it again. Bag fees by Earth Day.”

    Even a year later, Lander is confident that the bill he is co-sponsoring with Council Member Margaret Chin to impose fees on single-use plastic and paper bags at grocery stores and bodegas will pass

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