City of Rye, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Rye 12-7-2011 by L.L. No. 7-2011. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The intent of this chapter is to improve the environment in Rye by encouraging the use of reusable checkout bags and banning the use of plastic bags for retail checkout of purchased goods. Retail establishments are encouraged to make reusable bags available for sale.
Nonbiodegradable plastic bags often are discarded into the environment and end up polluting our waterways, clogging sewers, endangering marine life and causing unsightly litter. These bags last hundreds of years in landfills and are a potential source of harmful chemicals when they do break down.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section:
CHECKOUT BAG
A carryout bag that is provided to a customer at the point of sale. The term "checkout bag" does not include plastic produce bags or plastic bags measuring 28 inches by 36 inches or larger in size.
PLASTIC PRODUCE OR GARMENT BAG
A flexible container made of very thin plastic material with a single opening that is used to transport clothing from a dry cleaner, produce, meats or other items selected by customers to the point of sale.
RECYCLABLE PAPER BAG
A paper bag that should have the following characteristics:
A. 
Contains no old-growth fiber;
B. 
Is 100% recyclable overall and contains a minimum of 40% post-consumer recycled content; and
C. 
Displays the words "Reusable" and "Recyclable" on the outside of the bag.
RETAIL SALES
The transfer to a customer of goods in exchange for payment occurring in retail stores, sidewalk sales, farmers' markets, flea markets and restaurants. The term "retail sales" does not include sales of goods at yard sales, tag sales, other sales by residents at their home, and sales by not-for-profit organizations.
REUSABLE BAG
A bag with handles that is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse and is:
A. 
Made of cloth or other fabric; and/or
B. 
Made of durable plastic that is at least 2.25 mils thick.
A. 
Any person engaged in retail sales shall provide only reusable bags and/or recyclable paper bags as checkout bags to customers.
B. 
Nothing in this section shall preclude persons engaged in retail sales from making reusable bags available for sale to customers.
This chapter shall become effective six months following its adoption to allow retail establishments to dispose of their existing inventory of plastic checkout bags and convert to alternative packaging materials.
A. 
In the event that there is noncompliance with this chapter, the owner of the property or the owner's agent or the person performing such violation shall be notified in writing and shall forthwith stop with the violating activity. Such notice shall be in writing and may be served upon a person to whom it is directed either by delivering it personally to him or her or by posting same upon a conspicuous portion of the property and sending a copy of same by certified mail.
B. 
The penalty for each violation shall be up to $150.
C. 
Each occurrence of a violation, and each day that such violation continues, shall constitute a separate violation and shall be subject to a separate penalty and may be cited as such.