NEW YORK — A leading environmental group has come out against a proposed New York State law mandating plastic-bag recycling, saying it would weaken a similar law set to go into effect next month in New York City.
“While we applaud the state legislature’s efforts to pass legislation to require the recycling of plastic bags, we are greatly concerned that this legislation is weaker that the city law that is scheduled to take effect in a matter of weeks,” said Andy Darrell, New York regional director of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and a member of Mayor Bloomberg’s Sustainability Advisory Board.
The state bill would weaken the city statute by pre-empting stronger action on bag recycling, EDF said. Furthermore, the city’s law will require stores of 5,000 square feet or five or more store locations in the city, while the state law would apply only to stores of 10,000 square feet or more. Finally, the state law only mandates recycling of plastic carryout or grocery bags, while the city law requires acceptance of film plastic such as poly bags, newspaper bags and packaging.
EDF urged a veto of the proposal to protect the city’s law. “We urge Governor Paterson to veto this bill because it sets a dangerous precedent of handcuffing the state’s largest city to meet its huge solid-waste challenges,” Darrell said.