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The New York Times reports that the New York City Council voted 28-20 yesterday "to collect a fee on each carryout bag, paper or plastic, with some exceptions ... The Council settled on a 5-cent minimum fee after an earlier version of the bill called for 10 cents; stores, which will collect and keep the fees, can charge more if they choose." Exceptions include "plastic bags used for produce, small paper medicine bags at pharmacies, bags used at state-regulated liquor stores and bags used by soup kitchens. Those buying groceries with food stamps are also exempt from paying the fee"

Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he will support the fee.

Proponents of the legislation say they want to encourage the city's consumers to bring their own bags to stores and cut down on the "roughly 10 billion single-use plastic bags a year" that the city's Sanitation Department says it collects each year. Opponents, however, say that single-use bags often are anything but, and are used both to line garbage bags and to pick up dog feces; it is worth noting that the city also has a bill requiring dog owners to pick up pet waste from the city's streets and sidewalks.

The city's bag bill takes effect in October 2016.
KC's View:
I always wish that the ultimate result - cutting down on single-use bags - could be achieved without fees and legislation. And I certainly respect the idea that many single-use bags get multiple lives.

But I was astounded by the notion that the NYC Sanitation Department picks up 10 billion of these things each year. Ten billion??!! Yikes.