TUCKAHOE, N.Y. – Tuckahoe may be joining communities like Rye and Mamaroneck which ban plastic bags in retail stores.
A public hearing has been scheduled regarding the ban during the next regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting on March 11.
Trustee Greg Luisi said that the model legislation is based on a similar law passed in the city of Rye and more recently in Mamaroneck.
“The intent is to increase the use of paper and reusable bags, thereby saving the environment from plastic bags that take years to decompose,” he said.
According to the Clean Air Council, Americans use approximately one billion plastic non-biodegradable plastic shopping bags each year, only 12 percent of which were recycled in 2010.
Non-biodegradable plastic bags last hundreds of years in landfills and are a potential source of harmful chemicals when they do break down. Those bags are often discarded into the environment, polluting waterways, clogging sewers, endangering marine life and causing unsightly litter.
Deputy Mayor Tom Giordano said that anything that can help the environment is a good thing for the village.
“More eco-friendly is always a good thing,” he said. “Whether or not the measures should rise to the level of new legislation and whether that is well-crafted and considerate remains an open question.”
There will be penalties levied after the first offense. At the March meeting, more details will be discussed by the board. Giordano said that there are still plenty of questions to be raised regarding the proposed legislation.
“I use plastic bags in my waste basket everyday,” he said. “At what point does it become something that you’re breaking the law? There are sanitary issues. What about fish markets and trash bags? These are all questions that need to be asked.”