The City Council passed a bill requiring large stores and retail chains to collect and recycle plastic bags they give to shoppers on a vote of 44 to 2. The law will take effect six months after Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signs it. Billions of the plastic bags are used and discarded in the U.S., which wastes energy and creates more air pollution, end up in the stomachs of whales and sea turtles, buried in landfills to virtually never decompose and wastes a valuable resource that can be reprocessed and reused.
The bill received support from retailers and plastic-bag manufacturers, including Food Industry Alliance, which represents 750 supermarkets in the city and the Progressive Bag Affiliates, a trade group that represents most American makers of plastic bags. (New York Times)