A City Council bill that would require supermarkets and other large retail stores to collect, transport and recycle the plastic carryout bags they give to customers received an endorsement today from an unusual source: Lauren Bush, a fashion model and a niece of President Bush.
Ms. Bush, 23, appeared at the Whole Foods Market in the Lower East Side this morning with the City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, who supports the legislation, which was introduced last week by Councilman Peter F. Vallone Jr., a Queens Democrat. At a news conference, Ms. Bush, who graduated from Princeton last year, said her interest in plastic bags began about four years ago, when she learned about their impact on the environment. Ms. Bush told reporters:
The average American uses between 300 and 700 bags a year. To give you a visual of that number, if everyone in the U.S. were to make a giant chain with their plastic bag, it would wrap around the earth 760 times. That’s just the American annual consumption of plastic bags. And on top of that, plastic bags don’t biodegrade. They only break down into tiny toxic little bits that pollute the soil and our waterways. This process is called photodegrade and it takes around 1,000 years for these bags to break down in our landfills. It is for these reasons that I support this legislation in City Council. I think it is important for New Yorkers to recycle plastic bags and buy reusable bags.