Mamaroneck Village Approves Plastic Bag Ban

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Leo and Lulu Tantillo, fire chief and mayor for a day, call Monday night's Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees meeting to order.
Leo and Lulu Tantillo, fire chief and mayor for a day, call Monday night's Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees meeting to order. Photo Credit: Laurie Lawless

MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Plastic bags will soon become a thing of the past in Village of Mamaroneck retail stores. Monday night, the Village Board of Trustees unanimously approved a ban. The measure becomes effective six months from Monday night. 

“This has been gone over several times and this has been gone over in work session,” said Mayor Norman Rosenblum just before making a motion to vote on the resolution.

Under the new law, retail stores will be required to use recyclable paper bags or reusable bags at checkout. Retail stores include stores, farmers markets, sidewalk sales, flea markets and restaurants. The law originally had wording to exclude non-profit organizations, but that terminology was not included in the law passed Monday night

Justification for the new law mentions plastics bags blocking waterways, clogging sewers, causing unsightly litter and polluting the environment by sitting in landfills for hundreds of years before breaking down.

The new law does not include produce bags, garment bags and or bags measuring larger than 28 by 29 inches.

Recyclable paper bags must also meet the new law’s specifications. A “recyclable paper bag” must contain no old-growth fiber, be 100 percent recyclable, contain a minimum of 40 percent post-consumer recycled content and have the words "reusable" and "recyclable" on the outside of the bag. A reusable bag is considered a bag with handles that is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple uses. This bag can be made out of cloth, fabric or plastic, if it is at least 2.25 mils thick.

The first incident of noncompliance will result in a written notification, either in person or by certified mail. This notification would give the violator 10 days to correct the situation before another penalty and fine of $150 is issued. Each day after that, continued noncompliance will result in additional violations and penalties.

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