Bill S4536-2015

Prohibits grocery stores from providing plastic carryout bags and requires grocery stores to provide recyclable paper bags at no charge to customers

Prohibits grocery stores from providing plastic carryout bags and requires grocery stores to provide recyclable paper bags at no charge to customers.

Details

Actions

  • Mar 26, 2015: REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4536

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to prohibiting grocery stores from providing plastic carryout bags

PURPOSE:

To encourage and facilitate positive consumer behavior by limiting/prohibiting certain grocery stores from distributing plastic carryout bags while providing recyclable paper bags and produce bags upon checkout.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill amends § 27-2701 of the environmental conservation law as added by chapter 641 of the laws of 2008 by adding a new subdivision providing definitions for types of paper and plastic bags, producers and operators and stores defined as retail establishments over ten thousand square feet that are a business chain or operate five or more units throughout the State.

Section 2 of the bill amends § 27-2706 of the environmental conservation law as added by chapter 641 of the laws of 2008 by adding a new subdivision prohibiting the distribution of plastic carryout bags. Grocery stores shall provide recyclable paper carryout bags, as defined, at no charge to the customer at the point of sale.

Section 3 of the bill describes the effective date taking place on January first of the next succeeding date on which it shall become law, with exceptions.

JUSTIFICATION:

There is a pressing need to limit plastic bags from our solid waste stream, which accounts for over 1,700 tons of residential garbage per week in the City alone and costs taxpayers millions of dollars to transport to landfills. As we seek to become more environmentally sustainable, we should encourage positive consumer behavior without burdening low to middle income households with regressive bag taxes. This bill would allow for post-consumer recycled paper bags to be provided at no charge to customers while still allowing produce bags for meats and produce, saving money to municipalities and mitigating damage to our environment.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:

None

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the first of January succeeding the date passed, with exceptions.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4536 2015-2016 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 26, 2015 ___________
Introduced by Sen. HOYLMAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to prohibiting grocery stores from providing plastic carryout bags THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 4 of section 27-2701 of the environmental conservation law, as added by chapter 641 of the laws of 2008, is amended and four new subdivisions 8, 9, 10 and 11 are added to read as follows: 4. "Plastic carryout bag" means a [plastic carryout] bag MADE PREDOMI- NANTLY OF ANY TYPE OF PLASTIC WHICH IS provided by a store to a customer at the point of sale, BUT DOES NOT INCLUDE REUSABLE BAGS, PRODUCE BAGS, OR PRODUCT BAGS AS DEFINED IN THIS SECTION. 8. "GROCERY STORE" MEANS A RETAIL ESTABLISHMENT WHERE PRODUCE, MEATS OR OTHER FOOD ITEMS ARE REGULARLY AND CUSTOMARILY SOLD FOR CONSUMPTION OFF THE PREMISES. 9. "PRODUCE BAG" OR "PRODUCT BAG" MEANS ANY BAG WITHOUT HANDLES USED EXCLUSIVELY TO CARRY PRODUCE, MEATS, OR OTHER FOOD ITEMS TO THE POINT OF SALE INSIDE A STORE OR TO PREVENT SUCH FOOD ITEMS FROM COMING INTO DIRECT CONTACT WITH OTHER PURCHASED ITEMS. 10. "RECYCLABLE" MEANS MATERIAL THAT CAN BE SORTED, CLEANSED, AND RECONSTITUTED USING AVAILABLE RECYCLING COLLECTION PROGRAMS FOR THE PURPOSE OF USING THE MATERIAL IN THE MANUFACTURE OF A NEW PRODUCT. "RECYCLING" DOES NOT INCLUDE BURNING, INCINERATING, OR OTHERWISE THER- MALLY DESTROYING SOLID WASTE. 11. "RECYCLABLE PAPER CARRYOUT BAG" MEANS A PAPER BAG THAT MEETS ALL OF THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS: (A) IS ONE HUNDRED PERCENT RECYCLABLE OVERALL AND CONTAINS A MINIMUM OF EIGHTY PERCENT RECYCLED MATERIAL; (B) DISPLAYS THE WORD "RECYCLABLE" IN A HIGHLY VISIBLE MANNER ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE BAG; AND (C) HAS PRINTED ON THE BAG THE NAME OF THE MANUFACTURER,
THE LOCATION (COUNTRY) WHERE THE BAG WAS MANUFACTURED, AND THE PERCENT- AGE OF RECYCLED MATERIAL USED. S 2. The environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new section 27-2706 to read as follows: S 27-2706. PROHIBITION OF PLASTIC BAGS. 1. NO GROCERY STORE LOCATED IN THE STATE MAY DISTRIBUTE PLASTIC CARRY- OUT BAGS AS DEFINED IN SECTION 27-2701 OF THIS TITLE. 2. SUCH PROHIBITION SHALL APPLY TO BAGS PROVIDED FOR THE PURPOSE OF CARRYING AWAY GOODS FROM THE POINT OF SALE AND SHALL NOT APPLY TO PRODUCE BAGS OR PRODUCT BAGS AS SUCH TERMS ARE DEFINED IN SECTION 27-2701 OF THIS TITLE. 3. ALL GROCERY STORES SHALL PROVIDE RECYCLABLE PAPER CARRYOUT BAGS, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 27-2701 OF THIS TITLE, AT THE POINT OF SALE AND AT NO CHARGE TO THE CUSTOMER. 4. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE READ TO PRECLUDE ANY ESTABLISHMENT FROM MAKING REUSABLE BAGS, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 27-2701 OF THIS TITLE, AVAILABLE TO CUSTOMERS BY SALE OR OTHERWISE. 5. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE READ TO PRECLUDE ANY ESTABLISHMENT FROM PROVIDING PRODUCE BAGS OR PRODUCT BAGS, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 27-2701 OF THIS TITLE, TO THEIR CUSTOMERS. 6. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL PROHIBIT CUSTOMERS FROM USING BAGS OF ANY TYPE THAT THEY BRING TO THE STORE THEMSELVES OR FROM CARRYING AWAY GOODS THAT ARE NOT PLACED IN A BAG, IN LIEU OF USING BAGS PROVIDED BY THE STORE. S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediately, the addition and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.

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