New Castle Reusable Bag Initiative

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Dear fellow Sustainable Westchester members,

In furtherance of our collective goal of being more sustainable, the New Castle Sustainability Advisory Board has proposed to the New Castle Town Board the most comprehensive bag law in the State of New York. We would like to ask for your help to get the law passed.

Single-use plastic shopping bags contribute to climate change, their plastic has entered our food chain, they are a menace to wildlife, they are polluting our oceans and waterways, and they are a major source of litter. Also, our recycler has to discard them because they can’t sell them.
Paper bags are no better. Compared with plastic shopping bags they have twice the impact on climate change, create four times as much waste, and take 20 times as much water to produce.
These bags cost all of us. For businesses they are an unnecessary additional direct expense that will be reduced with a switch to reusable bags.
Like Davis, CA, Portland, ME, Washington D.C., and small towns throughout the world, we have designed a law that eliminates single-use plastic bags but does not motivate people to just change from plastic to paper. Rather, it motivates them to use reusable bags.

The Reusable Bag Initiative Law (RBI)
The law disallows distribution of single-use plastic shopping bags and places a 10-cent fee on paper shopping bags in the categories of stores that provide the most bags – including food markets, grocery stores, pharmacies (except for pharmaceuticals) and similar stores. This type of law has been proven effective. For example, in Portland, Maine, Hannaford Supermarket has reported that now 80% of shoppers bring reusable bags.
For more information on the proposed law, please see:
Also, for questions or comments, please email: or call Steven Wolk at (917) 863-3316.
How You Can Help
1. Please write a letter to our Town Board stating that you admire and support the proposed bag law in New Castle that prohibits the use of single-use plastic shopping bags and places a 10-cent fee on paper bags in the stores that use the most bags.
2. Please show up at our public hearing on May 24 at 8:00 pm at New Castle Town Hall and make a statement of support.
3. Please mention this to colleagues and other supporters to solicit their help

Finally, if you are considering your own Reusable Bag Initiative, please let me know how our Board can help with advice, information, outreach materials, or anything else.

Thank you in advance. Your help with this is greatly appreciated!

Steven Wolk 
New Castle Sustainability Advisory Board
(917) 863-3316

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