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The city’s giving out free bags ahead of the plastic bag ban

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

Once the New York State's plastic bag ban goes into effect at the end of this month, New Yorkers will be charged 5 cents per paper bag if they don't bring their own sacks to stores, so to prepare us all, the city's Department of Sanitation is giving out 100,000 free reusable bags!

RECOMMENDED: Everything you need to know about New York's new plastic bag ban

On average, the department collects more than 1,700 tons of single-use carryout bags per week, totaling 91,000 tons of plastic and paper carryout bags each year.

In comparison, the free bags are made of 90 percent recycled material and fold into a pouch with a carabiner clip (so you can attach them to your backpack or purse). 

"City residents use billions of single-use carryout bags every year, and they are frequently used for only a few minutes at a time," Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia says. "Plastic bags are particularly troublesome as contaminants in our recycling, as they often clog machinery, and we’ve all seen plastic bags stuck in city trees around the city. This is not sustainable. Bring your reusable bag every time you shop, and help us keep the city healthy, safe and clean."

To get yours, take the Zero Waste Pledge online or head to one of DSNY's giveaway events:

Thursday, February 13, 11am–3pm at 1555 Linden Boulevard
Thursday, February 27, 2:30–4pm at 665 New Lots Avenue

Wednesday, February 12, 7:30 pm–8:30pm at 183-02 Union Turnpike
Saturday, February 29, 1–4pm at 115-21 Farmers Boulevard

Friday, February 14, 10am–1pm at 8 East 109th Street

Friday, February 14, 2:30–3pm at 1841 Westchester Avenue
Thursday, February 20, 11am–2pm at 877 Southern Boulevard

Staten Island:
Friday, February 28, 10am–noon at 2600 Hylan Boulevard and 7–8pm at 77 Bennett Street

More events with free reusable bags can be found at

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