YONKERS, Westchester County (WABC) -- Yonkers residents can get a free Green City reusable bag Wednesday ahead of the statewide ban on plastic bags that takes effect March 1.
"Making these free bags available to our residents hopefully will ease the transition from plastic to more sustainable carry-out bags," Mayor Mike Spano said. "Together, we can create a cleaner, greener Yonkers. I urge all our residents to do their part and reuse."
Residents are encouraged to visit Yonkers City Hall or any Yonkers Public Library Branch to pick up their free reusable bags.
Bags are also available from noon to 2 p.m. at the ShopRite located at 25-43 Prospect Street.
The City of Yonkers has already distributed over 10,000 reusable bags to residents over the last year.
It was estimated by the New York State Plastic Bag Task Force that New York residents use 23 billion plastic bags every year, and many times, they end up in waterways and landfills or littering trees. They can also harm wildlife.
The new law will be enforced by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and businesses that violate the law will get a warning for their first violation.
After a warning, businesses will be fined $250. Violations after that in the same calendar year will carry a penalty of $500.
There are several types of bags that are exempt to the ban:
--Those used solely to contain or wrap uncooked, fish, or poultry
--Those used by a customer solely to package bulk items such as fruits, vegetables, grains, or candy
--Those used solely to contain food sliced or prepared to order
--Those used solely to contain a newspaper for delivery to a subscriber
--Those sold in bulk to a consumer at the point of sale, such as garbage bags or sandwich bags
--Those used by a dry-cleaner or laundry service
--Those provided by a restaurant to carry out or deliver food
--Those provided by a pharmacy to carry prescription drugs
For more information on the New York State Bag Waste Reduction Law, visit DEC.NY.gov.
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Yonkers provides free reusable bags for residents ahead of plastic bag ban