In just one year, one trillion disposable plastic bags are used around the world, 100 billion are thrown away in the U.S. alone and a typical U.S. consumer uses 500 of them. In the few short decades since these bags were introduced, they have devastated the environment, and not even one has degraded.
Annual production requires 12 million barrels of oil as well as billions of gallons of fresh water. The manufacture of plastic bags creates billions of pounds of solid toxic waste and millions of tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), a contributor to climate change.
Plastic bags clog storm drains and sewers, cause severe flooding, pollute our streets, parks and beaches, fill landfills, and move into waterways and oceans. The bags photo-degrade (break into smaller pieces). These plastic bits are dangerous and create plastic wastelands in the ocean. Wildlife on land and in the sea, are strangled, starved and poisoned by the plastic. It kills one million sea birds and 100,000 sea mammals each year. Scientists are now finding chemicals from plastic bags in our food and our bodies.
A village-wide Reusable Bag Ordinance will reduce single-use plastic bag consumption. We will join other municipalities across Westchester Counter and around the globe to eliminate the use of disposable bags.
Certain stores (grocery, pharmacy, and convenience) will charge 10 cents for paper bags to encourage residents to bring reusable bags. These businesses would keep the 10-cent charge, and would save money by no longer purchasing plastic bags.
Exceptions would be made for bags used specifically for meat, produce, prescription drug orders, dry-cleaning and newspapers.