New legislation will require large grocers and retailers across New York State that use plastic bags to provide bins to collect the bags for recycling. The state law preempts municipal ordinances on the topic, but a proposed amendment would make an exemption for a similar, existing law in New York City.

The new law, which takes effect on Jan. 1, applies to all retail establishments with more than 10,000 square feet, or chains with more than 5,000 square feet of retail space per store. "Plastic bags, made from petroleum, are a persistent litter and environmental problem," New York Deputy Secretary for the Environment Judith Enck said in a statement. "Nationally, we discard nearly 100 billion plastic bags every year — with lots of them ending up on our streets, in our parks and in our lakes and streams."

Read the Dec. 16, 2008, daily news article, "New York creates statewide plastic bag recycling program," for more information.

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