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New Legislation Proposes Banning Paper Bag Fee to Fight COVID-19 Spread in NYC

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Plus, West Village bakery Mah-Ze-Dar is opening for a three-day delivery and takeout pop-up this week — and more intel

A paper bag of apple cider doughnuts and two cups of light yellow cider on a wooden table
A City Council bill aims to suspend the 5 cent fee on paper bags in the city
Carla Vianna/Eater

Efforts to limit NYC’s use of reusable bags underway

In an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 in NYC, City Council member Mark Gjonaj has introduced legislation that would temporarily suspend the 5 cent fee on paper bags, the New York Post reports. The legislation is an effort to get New Yorkers to stop using reusable bags for now, which some studies say can be a breeding ground for germs.

The ban on the city’s single-use plastic bags went into effect on March 1 this year, and was accompanied by a 5-cent fee on paper bags. While the plastic bag ban remains in place, Gjonaj is looking to suspend the fee on paper bags through the end of 2022. It’s not yet clear how much support the Council member has among his colleagues, but Eater has reached for comment. Gjonaj cited San Francisco’s decision to ban reusable bags last week as one of the reasons he decided to move forward with this new legislation. Gjonaj, however, is not calling for a similar measure in NYC, telling the Post that he believes a suspension of the paper bag fee will have more success in the City Council.

In other news

— Popular West Village bakery Mah-Ze-Dar is re-opening for a three-day pop-up on April 8, 9, and 10. The bakery will sell fresh pastries for pickup and delivery by preordering and items like hot cross buns, chocolate-dipped macarons, and cookies for pickup from the store. The shop will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on each of those days.

— The state’s labor department is significantly upping its staff count after record numbers of unemployment claims were filed in the last couple of weeks owing to the hundreds of thousands of lost jobs from the COVID-19 pandemic.

— Pizza chain Domino’s is donating 56,600 pizzas in the tri-state area this week. The chain has 283 stores in the area, and each location will donate 200 pizzas.

— LES nightclub the Box — which counts Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus among its past clientele — is the subject of a new lawsuit. Two former waitresses at the club allege that the owners encouraged drug use and took away their tips, among other issues.

— We are indeed:

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