New York’s bad bag ban: Unintended consequences undermine the supposed environmental benefits

On March 1, New York’s second-in-the-nation statewide plastic bag ban went into effect. Shoppers must now bring their own tote bags, use a paper bag (or pay five cents for one in New York City and other counties with a fee), purchase a state-approved reusable bag or carry their loose purchases home in their arms. In a recent opinion piece in the New York Daily News, the author explained that “only a tiny portion of plastic bags are littered, and only a tiny portion of litter is made up of plastic bags.” Banning plastic bags also leads to unintended consequences. When people can’t get free plastic bags, they end up buying thicker garbage bags instead. In addition, studies have found that paper and cloth bags are more resource-intensive than plastic bags.

Read the full opinion piece on the New York Daily News.