New York lawmakers reach deal to ban plastic bags starting with March 2020

New York lawmakers reach deal to ban plastic bags starting with March 2020

Environmental advocates estimate that New Yorkers use about 23 billion plastic bags each year, according to The Associated Press, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Democratic lawmakers have reached a deal to prohibit single-use plastic bags statewide as part of the state’s $175 billion budget, which was approved early Monday.

New York imposes a statewide ban on most types of single used plastic bags

Hawaii was the first state to institute this type of ban, while New York is said to start applying it by next March. The new state law will forbid stores to provide customers with single-use plastic bags, as they’re non-biodegradable and have disastrous effects on wildlife and the environment.

This ban is expected to be part of the state’s budget bills, and it includes exceptions, like food takeout bags used by restaurants, bags used to wrap deli or meat counter products and bags for bulk items, as well as garment bags, newspaper bags, and bags sold in bulk.

A supplementary element is represented by the special fund created for purchasing reusable bags and an opt in of a five cent fee on paper bags that would go to the Environmental Protection Fund.

Mr. Cuomo stated that those bags have blighted the environment and clogged our waterways, so the plan agreed to in Albany will protect our natural resources for future generations.  In this sense, Gov. Cuomo implemented the New York State Plastic Bag Task Force in March of 2017. The task force developed a long-term solution to the plastic bag problem in the state.

The final report detailed the plastic bag problem and solutions to implement.

“Throughout New York State, plastic bags have become a ubiquitous sight on the landscape. They can be seen stuck in trees, as litter in our neighborhoods, floating in our waterways and as a general aesthetic eyesore of our environment. Single-use plastic bags are a detriment to the health of communities and the environment alike,” the report notes.

The even better news is that several other states are making important progress to outlaw other plastic products recently, and Hawaiian lawmakers have proposed a pair of bills which would take a hard-line against most plastic in the restaurant industry, while a proposal in Maryland could make the region the first in the nation to ban polystyrene food containers completely.