[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Piermont 9-4-2018 by L.L. No. 4-2018. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The intent of this chapter is to improve the environment in the Village of Piermont by encouraging the use of reusable checkout bags, and banning the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam packaging for retail checkout of purchased goods. Retail establishments are encouraged to make reusable bags available for sale.
Plastic bags and Styrofoam packaging 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 Village Board finds that the use of single-use plastic carryout bags has negative environmental impacts, including GHG emissions, litter, water consumption, solid waste generation and effects on wildlife and that numerous studies have documented the prevalence of single-use carryout bags, littering the environment, blocking storm drains and fouling the riverfront and beaches. Single-use plastic bags do not biodegrade but instead break down into smaller pieces that are ingested by marine animals and make their way into the food chain. Furthermore, the manufacturing, transport, recycling and/or disposal of paper bags require significant environmental resources. Styrofoam material similarly is not biodegradable.
The Village Board believes that, from an overall environmental and economic perspective, a shift to reusable bags is a better alternative to the continued use of single-use plastic and paper carryout bags. Similar policies adopted in other jurisdictions have resulted in significant reductions in the use of single-use carryout bags. The Village Board finds that such a shift in use shall be a benefit to the overall health, safety and welfare of the Village of Piermont, its residents and the local environment.
Therefore, the Piermont Board has decided to adopt a new chapter of the Village Code designed to limit the use of disposable single-use carryout bags, incentivize the use of reusable carryout bags, and ban the use of Styrofoam containers and cups.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following words, terms and phrases shall have the following definitions:
- CHECKOUT BAG
- A carry-out bag that is provided to a customer at the point of sale. The term "checkout bag" does not include plastic produce bags, garment bags, or plastic bags measuring 28 inches by 36 inches or larger in size.
- GARMENT BAG
- A large plastic bag with two openings that is used to transport clothing from a clothing retailer or a garment cleaner such as a dry cleaner.
- PLASTIC PRODUCE BAG
- A bag made of very thin plastic used to transport produce, meats or other items selected by customers.
- RECYCLABLE PAPER BAG
- A paper bag that should have the following characteristics:
- 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, and other sales by residents at their homes.
- REUSABLE BAG
- A bag with handles that is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse and is:
- Expanded polystyrene foam (EPS), such as cups, plates, take-out food containers, and packing materials, commonly known as "Styrofoam."
Any person engaged in retail sales shall provide only recyclable paper bags as checkout bags, and/or reusable bags, and shall only provide non-Styrofoam packaged containers to customers.
In the event that there is noncompliance with this chapter, the owner or local manager shall be notified in writing with a first-time warning and shall forthwith stop the violating activity. Such notice shall be served upon the person to whom it is directed either by delivering it personally to him or her or by posting the same upon a conspicuous portion of the property and sending a copy of the same by certified mail. Such notice shall provide a period of 10 business days to cure such violation and come into compliance with this chapter, after which a violation and summons may be issued.
The penalty for each violation thereafter shall be a fine not exceeding $150 for each offense.
Each day that such violation continues shall constitute a separate violation and shall be punishable as such.
This chapter shall become effective on January 1, 2019, to allow retail establishments to dispose of their existing inventory of plastic checkout bags and to convert to alternative packaging materials.