KINGSTON – Another public hearing was held Tuesday, June 19, 2018, on the "proposed local law promoting the use of reusable bags and regulating the use of plastic carry-out bags and recyclable paper carry-out bags," and 22 speakers addressed the Ulster County Legislature.
We have recycling and littering laws that are not being enforced. Deposits on bottles and cans sounded like a solution, too, but the enticement of 5 cents to return bottles and cans is still not working.
This new local law potentially will hurt low-income families that struggle to meet everyday expenses. Many reusable bags come with a hefty price tag, and they encourage mold and other contaminants if not used properly. Mandatory fees on plastic bags will not eliminate the recycling problem.
What it comes down to is simple common sense and educating the public. The city of Kingston has two environmental educators on its payroll; the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency has a recycling coordinator on its staff. Another key element here is enforcement, and at what expense?
I hope this legislative body will listen to the comments made by the representative from New York State Association of Convenience Stores and store director of ShopRite and take steps to educate the public on recycling efforts instead of placing another mandate on hard-working citizens in all the county’s communities.
We should be allowed to make our own choices in what kind of bags we use at supermarkets.