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Mamaroneck considers switching from plastic to paper bags, taxing them

Residents say they approve of the switch to paper bags, but they should be free


MAMARONECK – The town of Mamaroneck is considering a switch from plastic to paper bags as well as taxing the bags. In 2013 town leaders first proposed a similar move, but the legislation stalled after the food industry alliance of New York threatened to sue the town. Residents still remember the first attempt and are not happy to see another one.

According to the town's sustainability collaborate has been working for the past 18-months to hammer out the details on a draft law that's similar to one drafted back in 2013.

"I think paper bags are the way it should be and it should be free, if anything they should charge for plastic bags," Mamaroneck resident Peter Zambito said.

"First of all, it was plastic bags. I understand why we did away with those, or want to because they're not biodegradable. Now, this seems like a nuisance charge or nuisance tax," Mamaroneck resident Ron Cino said. "I do believe in using reusable bags, and I don't have a problem with that.”

Town Supervisor Nancy Seligson released a statement on the situation.

"We're taking it slowly and trying to build support for the effort in a systematic way." we know that this model is the most effective to getting people to change their behavior and getting them to change over to reusable bags," Seligson said.

Back in April, the County Board of Legislators' democrats introduced a law banning plastic bags from store checkout lines and charge shoppers up to 10-cents for paper bags. That legislation is still pending.

Albany has also considered banning all plastic bags on the state level. Town Supervisor Nancy Seligson hopes to have the draft law ready in a few months.

If it passes Mamaroneck will join Hastings on Hudson and Neighboring Rye. Both communities already have restrictions on plastic bags.

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