Today is February 21, 2018 / /

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The following story is from E Gourmet News:

Plastic bag regulations hit New York

NEW YORK—Adding to legislation regulating the use of plastic bags, the City Council here overwhelmingly passed a bill Jan. 9 requiring large retailers to collect and recycle plastic bags they give to shoppers.

The legislation passed 44 to 2 and requires stores 5,000 square feet or larger to provide recycling bins for bags in a prominent location within the store, reported The New York Times. The bill is awaiting the mayor’s approval and will take effect six months after he signs it.

Consumers can drop off bags from any store, not just the one where the bin is located. Stores will have to provide removal services for the bags and will also have to ensure that the bags have printed messages urging customers to return them, according to the article.

City Council members Christine Quinn and Peter Vallone Jr. introduced the bill in October.

Cities such as San Francisco have banned plastic bags altogether and some retailers are taking matters into their own hands, including Whole Foods Markets, which stopped using plastic bags in its two Austin, Texas, stores last month.

Eliminating plastic grocery bags at its Austin checkout counters is a test for Whole Foods and serves as the first step to ban such bags companywide early this year, according to a statement.