While walking in Downtown Manhattan near City Hall on Saturday I was very surprised to see the message "Use a Cloth Bag" on banners hanging high above the street. I guess that'll work well enough, if the mayor’s office is not serious about waste reduction. Personally, I’ve been wondering when NY would follow San Francisco's lead and start regulating how much plastic waste retailers were allowed to introduce into the city. And why stop with grocery bags? While walking anywhere in the city I see quite a few people carrying one-time-use bags from dollar stores, drug stores, clothing, electronics and other retailers. (Of course, I also see those bags tangled in trees or drifting across sidewalks and playgrounds.)
The plastic bag habit is a tough one to break, especially in neighborhoods where no one else seems to be aware of the issue.