For the last six months, notices have gone up at the checkouts of most supermarkets in New York warning customers of a forthcoming change. You can’t live in this city without ignoring things. At any given point, avoiding the roaches, the smells and the creeping sense that in 50 years we will be underwater takes up fully 10% of one’s energy. At the top of that list has been the energetic avoidance of actually reading the sign at the checkout informing us that on 1 March plastic bags will be banned – not just subject to surcharge, but outlawed – across the entire state of New York. If the city is unprepared for coronavirus, it is safe to say this is nothing next to the scenes that will greet us on Sunday morning, when people with a weekly shop in their trolleys arrive at the checkout. It is quite thrilling, not least because banning things runs so contrary to the American idea. More than 23bn plastic bags are used in New York each year, and the planet is dying, but even so, the Bag Waste Reduction Law is so muscular, so big government, that no one can quite believe it… Read full this story
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