Donate Tote Bags

Getting Ready for Plastic Bag Ban

February 10, 2020

Starting March 1, 2020, a new bag waste reduction law will take effect in New York State. Plastic Bags will no longer be available at grocery store checkout. While paper bags will still be available, it is better for the environment for people to use reusable bags.

The Hudson Area Library is collecting tote bags and is partnering with the Columbia County Department of Social Services and Columbia Opportunities to distribute them to residents who may have a hard time purchasing reusable bags.

“Our library team is always looking for ways that community members can connect with and support one another,” says Hudson Area Library Director Emily Chameides. “We are excited to help our community access reusable tote bags through this collection effort.”

“Thank you to all the community members who are donating to this program,” says DSS Commissioner Robert Gibson. “We have too many people struggling with basic essentials and this part of a larger effort to relieve the pressure.”

Plastic bags present a number of problems. They are derived from fossil fuels and the production process can be devastating to ecosystems. Once they are created, they don’t biodegrade. They fill up landfills and often jam up recycling processing machines. Many of the bags don’t make it to the proper waste disposal channels and become a source of litter on land and in waterways - harming habitats and wildlife.

I’ve been supportive of New York State taking this important step to protect the environment. It is important that we ensure that consumers and retailers are prepared. In particular, we need to ensure that everyone has easy access to reusable bags.

Over 25 countries have instituted plastic bag bans. In the US, bans on the distribution of single-use plastic bags exist in nearly 100 cities, towns, and municipalities across the country. Prior to the New York State ban, at least 14 cities, towns, or villages enacted a plastic bag ban or fee, including Dutchess and Ulster Counties.

The plastic bag ban focuses on single-use grocery store check out bags. Plastic bags for produce and pre-packaged foods are not affected.

People can donate tote bags at the Hudson Area Library, 51 N Fifth St, Hudson, NY. Inside the library, there is a bin by the main desk.

Learn more about my environmental policy.