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N.Y. City considers plastics bag surcharge

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has called for a 6 cent surcharge for every plastic shopping bag given to sho...


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November 10, 2008 by Canadian Plastics

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has called for a 6 cent surcharge for every plastic shopping bag given to shoppers in that city.

Under the proposal, retailers would receive 1 cent of each fee as an incentive to comply, while the city would receive 5 cents.

According to city officials, the surcharge could bring in $16 million a year, offering a revenue boost to a city that faces a $4 billion deficit over the next two years.

The plan will require approval from the state Legislature if it’s determined to be a tax.

If the proposal passes, New York City would follow the lead of many European countries and become one of the first places in the United States to assess a so-called plastic bag tax. Seattle voters will weigh in on a similar measure next year, and other places, like Los Angeles and Dallas, have studied the idea.

The proposal follows on the heels of a January 2008 law that requires New York City stores larger than 5,000 square feet or stores with more than five branches in the city to provide a way for customers to recycle their plastic bags.

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