City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and City Council member Peter Vallone presented a proposal withnew requirements about
grocery stores' use, recycling and storage of plastic bags. Stores bigger than 5,000 square feet would need to:
- Use recyclable bags
- Have bins where customers can return bags
- Print "Please return this bag to a participating store for recycling" in 3"+ high letters on bags
- Provide reusable bags for sale (this can also mean more durable plastic)
- Record their amount of plastic bags that "recollect, transport and recycle" as well as a "submit annual reports to the Sanitation Department"
City Council spokesman Anthony Hogrebe told the Daily News, "It's not a ban. It's a bill that's tailored, we believe, to address the specific needs of New York City and what we think would work best." However, that didn't make Gristede's CEO - and potential 2009 mayoral candidate - John Catsimatidis happy. He told CityRoom, "We’re not set up to become garbage disposal areas for Christine Quinn. I’m not sure she’s ever been in business in her life. I’ve been in business for 39 years as C.E.O. of a company."
Hmm, we think some other chains should also be subject to this ban - like the bookstores, department stores and drugstores (yeah, Duane Reade, we're looking at you!). Updated: It turns out that this proposal would apply to any store over 5,000 square feet - so big bookstores would apply.
Photograph of some One Night of Fire participants by dogseat on Flickr