How Much Should A Carryout Bag Cost?

What should the minimum charge for a paper (or reusable) carryout bag be?  That’s a popular question among cities developing plastic bag reduction ordinances.
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Press Conference For the Re-Introduction of NYC’s Single-Use Bag Bill on Wednesday at 11am

The press conference will be on Wednesday, March 26th at 11:00am on the steps of City Hall.

Click here to RSVP to the Facebook invite.

Click here to read a NY Post article about the bill.

S.T.O.P. Bags Student Conference in NYC This Saturday

The Hewitt School and Green Schools Alliance are hosting a city-wide conference this Saturday, March 1, 2014 from 10am to 2pm at The Hewitt School, 45 East 75th Street, NYC.

The conference is open to all NYC middle and high school students, called Students Take On Plastic Bags (S.T.O.P. Bags). This unique student-led conference will feature a keynote address by Ron Gonen, NYC Deputy Commissioner for Recycling and Sustainability.

The conference will also feature Manhattan Borough President, Gale Brewer, as a special speaker and guest judge. Additional judges include:

– Lisa Bloodgood (Community Liaison & Environmental Advisor for CM Stephen Levin, Dist. 33)
– Eric Goldstein (Natural Resources Defense Council)
– Ya-Ting Liu (NY League of Conservation Voters)
– Saleen Shah (Citizens Committee for NYC)

Special mentor/student “coaching” sessions will be offered by noted environmental advocates for all student attendees. Some of these “coaches” include:

– Lily Belanger (Program Director, No Impact Project)
– Jordan Christensen (Citizens Campaign for the Environment)
– Tim Clare (Surfrider Foundation)
– Ashel Eldridge (environmental educator and entertainer)
– Gala Narezo (Activist and Plastic Bag Mandela Artist)
– Veronique Pittman (Green Schools Alliance)
– Eadaoin Quinn (Education Coordinator for SIMS Municipal Recycling)
– Jennie Romer (environmental lawyer and founder of
– Leslie Mintz Tamminen (Ocean Program Director, 7th Generation Advisors)
– Logan Welde (Staff Attorney, Clean Air Council of Philadelphia)

The conference seeks to empower middle and high school students on how to speak with their respective council member and how to testify before city council about the upcoming plastic bag legislation. The conference will conclude with a student competition for the best one-minute testimonial/presentation, and a performance of “Plastic State of Mind” by educator, rapper, emcee, producer, and founder of Earth Amplified, Ash-El Eldridge.

Click here for more information and to register.

Click here for the press release.


RE-SCHEDULED: Screening of the Film “Bag It” at Columbia University

Presented by the SIPA Sustainability Committee at Columbia University (view revised poster here)

Wed, February 19th, 6:30pm-8:30pm

International Affairs Building, Rm 1219

Columbia University’s Harriman Institute (Morningside Campus)

420 W 118th St, New York, NY 10027

A screening of the film Bag It followed by a discussion with Jennie R. Romer, Esq. founder of

To RSVP, please email Please email Ben Salley at (space is limited).

Radio Segment About NYC’s Proposed Plastic Bag Legislation

Check out this short (4 minute) radio segment on Brooklyn’s Heritage Radio Network featuring Jennie Romer from discussing NYC’s proposed plastic bag ordinance: Read the rest of this entry »

San Francisco’s Expanded Plastic Bag Ban Upheld by Court of Appeal

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors adopted its current checkout bag ordinance in early 2012, in the face of opposition from a group representing plastic bag manufacturers – which threatened to sue.  The current ordinance expanded the scope of SF’s original plastic bag ban that had applied only to supermarkets and large pharmacy chains to 1.) include every retailer and restaurant in the city and 2.) add a 10-cent charge for other checkout bags provided at the register. Read the rest of this entry »

The Immortal Plastic Bag: a Short Film About Plastic Bags in NYC

The Immortal Plastic Bag is a short film by Joe Harvell, Aaron Reiss, and Jamie Hefetz featured in today.  The film details some of the harms caused by plastic carryout bags in New York City, particularly how plastic bags clog machinery at the City’s recycling facilities.

Since the film was made, plastic bag legislation was introduced in NYC Council that would require a 10-cent minimum charge on all carryout bags.  To get involved please visit and fill out this online petition.

Plastic Bag Bill Introduced in NYC Council, Awaits Hearing in Sanitation Committee

Last month, NYC Council Members introduced legislation aimed at reducing plastic bag consumption in NYC. Read the rest of this entry »

NYC Plastic Bag Press Conference On the Steps of City Hall Tuesday Aug 20th at 11am

Council Members Lander and Chin will be introducing legislation to reduce plastic bags in NYC this week!

There will be a press conference at 11:00am on Tuesday, August 20th on the steps of City Hall (260 Broadway) that we will need as many people as possible to attend. Please plan to arrive at 10:30 am. Let us know you are coming by joining our Facebook event.

Bring signs in support, but and leave sticks at home as all signs (and people) will have to pass through a security check.

Jennie’s Ocean Voyage: Short Film Released About 5 Gyres North Atlantic Gyre Expedition by Jeneene Chatowsky

***This is part of a series of personal blog entries by’s founder Jennie R. Romer, which will document her trip to study plastic pollution in the North Atlantic Ocean with The 5 Gyres Institute.***

Here’s a short film by Jeneene Chatowsky about the sailing expedition that I in went on with The 5 Gyres Institute in June:

5 Gyres North Atlantic Gyre Expedition from Jeneene Chatowsky on Vimeo.

This film is part of a larger Plastic SEAS documentary series by Ms. Chatowsky that explores the connection between plastic pollution, the seas, and human health. The feature length Plastic SEAS documentary is expected to be released in 2014.


Here is another short film about plastic pollution in the ocean that specifically explores the plight of Laysan albatross plagued by ingestion of plastic trash:

MIDWAY: A Message from the Gyre – a film by Chris Jordan.