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Op-Ed: Tax, tax, tax: Plastic bag ban is too much for New York

Photo via Getty Images

BY JOHN CATSIMATIDIS

This Sunday, March 1, all grocery stores in New York, including our Gristedes and D’Agostino stores, are prevented by a new New York State Law to give our customers regular plastic bags to carry home their groceries.

Instead, you must either buy paper bags, which are available for five cents each, bring your own bags to the store, or buy other authorized, expensive bags from the store.

It is ridiculous. Groceries are necessities. Shoppers should not be targets of frivolous and flawed tax laws. We apologize to our shoppers.

There are exceptions to this ban. As a retailer, we can offer plastic bags for uncooked meat, fish, seafood, poultry, or other unwrapped food like vegetables and grains, as well as food that is prepared to order.

This law just wasn’t thought through. But there is more.

There may not be any paper bags because there is an estimated shortage of a billion paper bags nationally.

The biggest blow is to the environment. This law seeks to protect the environment, when in fact it is robbing the environment of  trees. It will result in destroying millions of trees cut down in order to manufacture these paper bags.  

This reverses what generations of good, conscientious people did to protect the ecosystem, reduce pollution, increase oxygen into the atmosphere, improve forestry management,  and secure the planet’s overall environmental health for our future.

These same legislators who claim to want affordable housing and other affordability in New York City are adding tax upon tax to make every daily necessity more expensive for everyday New Yorkers.

– Taxi rides

– Uber / Lift Transportation

– Congestion Pricing

– Proposed Gentrification Tax

– Broker Rental Fees

– Subway / Bus Rides

– Small business Taxes, Fines, Fees.

– and more

What’s more, research shows that there are health safety issues with reusable bags, which are known to carry salmonella when not cleaned properly.

Finally, this tax on plastic bags is totally unnecessary because we already recycle plastic bags. So what is the point of burdening New Yorkers with another tax.

The true motive behind taking away your shopping convenience is revealed. It is just another way to tax you.

Speak out! Just say “No more”. Put a stop to “Taxes on Necessities” like plastic bags in grocery stores.

Call your legislators and tell them enough is enough!

Contact Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins at 914-423-4031 and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie at 718-654-6539.

John Catsimatidis is the CEO of Red Apple Group Inc.

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