PUTNAM COUNTY, N.Y. - It’s time for Putnam County residents to remember to bring their own reusable bags with them when they go shopping.

“Starting March 1, a New York State law will ban single-use plastic bags,” said Putnam County Legislature Chairwoman Toni Addonizio. “Retailers in Putnam, and throughout the state, will no longer be able to provide plastic bags to customers for carrying their goods.”

Jane Meunier, solid waste management program coordinator for the Putnam County Department of Health, praised the new law.

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“It is our goal for Putnam County to not only embrace recycling initiatives such as this but to make our County an example of how to improve and be at the forefront in the recycling and solid waste management field,” Meunier said. “We all need to do our part.  The inconvenience of bringing your own reusable bags for shopping cannot compare to the devastation that single-use plastic bags cause to our environment, and specifically our beautiful Putnam County!”

Reusable shopping bags are sturdy, washable and hold more, if you can remember to bring them, Amy Sayegh, chairwoman of the Legislature’s Health Committee said.

“This is an important law for the state, the county and, of course, the planet,” Sayegh said.

There are some exemptions from the state ban, including dry cleaning bags, newspaper delivery bags, and bags used by customers to package fruits, vegetables or other loose items.  But now is a good time to think ahead to reduce other plastic waste, said Victoria DiLonardo, recycling educator for the Putnam County Department of Health.

“After it becomes a habit to bring your shopping bags with you to the store, try switching to reusable produce bags,” DiLonardo said. “And once that becomes a habit, try bringing your own travel mug to the coffee shop, and so on. If we can all make small steps toward creating less plastic waste, it will make a big difference.”

Article courtesy of County Executive’s Office