Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, June 3, 2014 (PBBR) - Tonight, the Mayor and Board of Trustees of the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York adopted a local law to ban plastic checkout bags. The roll call vote was unanimous for the ban.
The local law prohibits all retailers, including restaurants, from providing a plastic carryout bag to a customer at the time of purchase for transporting goods away from the retailer.
The law encourages the use of reusable checkout bags. A reusable bag is defined as a bag with handles that is specifically designed for multiple reuse and is:
- made of cloth or other fabric
- made of durable plastic that is at least 2.25 mils thick
The new law mandates that retailers may only provide to the customer a reusable bag or a recyclable paper bag. The new law will take effect six months after the final adoption date.
At the same meeting, the Board of Trustees also voted to ban the use of expanded polystyrene foam containers by restaurants.
In response to the law’s passage, Jordan Christensen, Hudson Valley Program Coordinator for Citizens Campaign for the Environment said:
“Hastings on the Hudson has made a bold, important step in reducing pollution and protecting waterways. By banning unnecessary disposable bags and EPS foam the village is the forefront of the going green.
These throw-a-way bags and polluting containers are used for a few minutes, but remain in our environment for hundreds of years. They clog storm drains, litter our parks and communities, and endanger wildlife. Encouraging reusable bags and sustainable carry-out containers is a model that other communities should embrace.
Communities around the globe have already shown that making the switch to reusable bags and containers is economical, practical, and has not hindered the ability to get groceries home."
It is estimated that Hudson-on-Hastings uses 2.6 million plastic bags each year. (Estimate using calculations of average number of plastic bags used per household in the U.S., in the book, "Initiate A Plastic Bag Ban").
The Village of Hastings-on-Hudson is located on the banks of the Hudson River just north of the city of Yonkers in Westchester County. Other Westchester County towns that have banned plastic bags include Rye, Larchmont, and the Village of Mamaroneck.
Cover photo: Municipal Building, "Hastings Munic Bldg jeh" by Jim.henderson - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Zero, Public Domain Dedication via Wikimedia Commons