Lawmakers ponder ban on plastic retail bags
KINGSTON >> Ulster County lawmakers are considering banning plastic bags in retail establishments.
Those bags, used in businesses ranging from supermarkets to clothing stores, are considered by some to be a scourge on the environment because they are not biodegradable, said Richard Parete, chairman of the Legislature’s Energy and Environment Committee.
“The main thing is to get those plastic bags out of the waste stream because they don’t recycle, they don’t degrade, they are just not good for the environment,” said Parete, R-Mabletown. “The goal is to get people to use reusable bags, to bring the same bags in every time they shop.”
Discussion of the possible ban is in the early stages. Among the issues is whether small stores should be included.
Ulster County already has banned the use of polystyrene (Styrofoam) cups and take-out containers by restaurants in the county, as well as by the county itself.
A ban on plastic retail bags in the village of New Paltz took effect in April 2015. Possible prohibitions of such bags also have been discussed by the city of Kingston and Dutchess County.