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For the bag fee bill II Dear Editor: Your recent editorial entitled, “Many questions on dime-a-bag bill” misses the point of the bill entirely. The point is to stop people from continuing to use plastic bags and get them to start using reusable grocery bags. A simple behavioral change is what this bill is about — and for a good reason. We really cannot afford to continue to pollute with wild abandon this way. Back in the ’80s, I was in Europe where they were already charging for plastic bags. The first few times I went to the stores there I forgot my reusable bags and paid for the plastic ones (They rang up my items, bagged them, then added the cost of the bags I used to the total, then I paid — not a problem. If one broke they replaced it free like you would any other defective item for sale — again no problem.) After that I remembered to bring bags. I have been doing so here since that time. New Yorkers are fully capable of doing the same after a bit of adjustment (mainly remembering the bags and calculating how many will be needed). In fact I found some great benefits of reusable bags. They hold a lot of items, so less total schlepping of bags, and they rarely rip! This is such a small, simple measure in the right direction. I am shocked that Councilman Ulrich is against this bill. He has small children. Doesn’t he care about the world he is leaving them? He calls it a backdoor tax but it isn’t. Its a deterrent and a tax that New Yorkers can easily get out of paying if they simply change their behavior. Karen Klein Whitestone
Dear Editor: So many reasons this is a bad bill: As a single person, I use plastic grocery bags as garbage bags. Why use a quarter- or half-filled trash bag each and every day when the one from the grocery store is perfectly suitable for daily disposal of my small amount of household garbage? Dog owners use grocery plastic bags to pick up and dispose of their pets’ waste on the street. Are they now supposed to pay 10 cents in order to clean up after their dogs? How many of them will now simply elect to leave the mess on the sidewalk and walk away? It isn’t like they’re giving out hefty fines for not picking up after the dog. (Now that is something worth pursuing.) I will be watching where I walk more carefully once this bill
Against the bag fee bill II Dear Editor: The City Council is ready to vote on a 10-cent fee to consumers who don’t use their own bags at checkout counters. The idea is to get the consumers to bring in their own reusable bags. Mayor de Blasio is on board on this legislation because he is going for zero waste. Now this will include grocery stores, bodegas, retail and drug stores. I’m all for recycling but I’m not for taxing the poor who can little afford another expense when they go shopping. I think an ad campaign about recycling is a smarter way to get people to do the right thing for our environment. In my opinion, I think the City Council is operating under the influence of stupidity. Frederick R. Bedell Jr. Glen Oaks
Plane noise progress Dear Editor: It is with great pleasure that I read of the accomplishments of Queens Quiet Skies and other entities in convincing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to advocate for mitigation of the noise and pollution problems of aircraft flying over our communities. The governor ordered the Port Authority to increase the number of noise monitors keeping track of violations of the allowable noise levels of aircraft and to carry out a Part 150 noise study to see how noise from aircraft is affecting residents. He also called for the establishment of roundtables where community representatives and officials would meet regularly to discuss aircraft noise and flight pattern concerns. The Federal Aviation Administration would need to cooperate and participate in these measures. This is just the beginning of the process to mitigate the noise issue. Those involved continued on page 10
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Against the bag fee bill I
passes, to be sure. As the Chronicle pointed out, the proposed City Council bill to charge consumers for plastic bags is poorly thought-out and ill-conceived. A plastic bag is a plastic bag. Unless we should throw our household garbage directly into the chute or the garbage can, it has to be placed into a plastic bag beforehand. How does this reduce plastic in the environment? With this bill the only one who suffers is the consumer. Either the store owner gets ten cents a pop or the manufacturer of trash bags like Hefty and Glad get the profit. The rest of us get to walk out of the grocery store with our hands full of carrots. As it is, I recycle all of my plastic, paper and glass waste, and I bring my vegetable and fruit waste to the Farmer’s Market to get turned into mulch. Sigh. The City Council cannot accomplish much of anything, but I guess passing a tencent-a-bag bill is easier than working to reduce homelessness, poverty and teenage gang affiliation. God help the Republic. Pietro Allar Forest Hills
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about a windfall for local businesses — the whole goal here is to reduce the use of these polluting bags and get them out of the environment. Businesses already are paying for plastic bags – and so are you, whether you use bags or not. Marcia Bystryn President New York League of Conservation Voters Manhattan
Page 9 QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, April 3, 2014
LETTERS TO THE
Queens Chronicle South Edition 04-03-14