Paper or paper?
New York residents will soon only be able to carry their groceries inside paper bags that will cost them 5 cents each --- that is unless they bring their own reusable bags.
Before the ban on single-use plastic bags officially takes place on March 1, those who live in New York City can get free reusable bags from the city's Department of Sanitation either online or in person.
You can take the "Zero Waste Pledge" on the NYDS website and get a free reusable bag or cutting board delivered to your door. Although that option may be less environmentally friendly than going to one of the reusable bag giveaway events taking place across the city.
The bags are made of 90% recycled material, according to the city. It folds into a built-in pouch with a carabiner clip for easy access.
In NYC alone, more than 10 billion single-use carryout bags are used every year and the disposal of the bags costs the city more than $12 million per year, officials said. Across New York, 23 billion plastic bags are used annually.
In addition to the city giving out free bags, stores like Stop & Shop are also doing their part.
The supermarket company says it will also hand out free reusable bags at its New York state stores starting Feb. 22. However, customers will have to bring in one or more plastic bags in exchange.