TUCKAHOE, N.Y. – The Tuckahoe Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing regarding the possible ban of plastic bags at retail establishments in the village at its meeting on Monday night.
The community is welcome to attend the meeting and participate in the discussion at 8 p.m. at Village Hall. The legislation would join Tuckahoe with communities like Rye and Mamaroneck, which have already passed laws to aid the environment.
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.
The ordinance will be enacted six months after it is filed with the Office of the Secretary of State. Residents are welcome to bring their questions and concerns to the board, which can still amend the resolution.
Violators would be subject to fines if caught by code enforcement officers. The first violation would be a warning; the second would result in a $100 fine, the third a $250 fine and all subsequent offenses will lead to fines up to $500.
Any fines that are collected will be used for an environmental purpose to be determined by the trustees. Retail stores found in violation will have the opportunity for a formal review.
“The intent is to increase the use of paper and reusable bags, thereby saving the environment from plastic bags that take years to compose,” Trustee Greg Luisi said.