NYS Bill May Weaken NYC Plastic Bag Recycling

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A law requiring big stores and chains to recycle plastic bags is supposed to take effect today, but a bill pending in Albany could preempt the effort. WNYC's Bob Hennelly has more on the battle of the bag bills.

REPORTER: Both Albany and the city agree something has to be done to get merchants and consumers to start recycling the plastic bags.

In the U.S. alone, 100 billion of these bags are made every year, using oil in the process. Supporters of the city proposal say it goes farther, requiring stores 5,000 square feet or more to implement recycling. It also includes dry cleaning bags and even newspaper plastic delivery bags.

Albany covers fewer kinds of bags and larger stores or chains. City lawmakers are urging Governor David Paterson to veto the state law or provide a city exemption. For WNYC I am Bob Hennelly.