Cuomo moves to ban plastic bags at point of sale


Before setting off, Nixon said Cuomo hasn't done enough to develop renewable energy industries in NY state despite being in office for more than seven years.

Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to ban single-use plastic bags, though he previously blocked a 2017 plan to charge New York City shoppers 5-cents for paper and plastic bags at stores.

The bill would include any carryout plastic bags at any point of sale, and would exclude garment bags, trash bags, or bags used to wrap or contain certain foods. If passed, it would go into effect on New Year's Day of 2019.

Instead of making specific recommendations, however, the task force only outlined options, which also included stronger enforcement of existing laws to reduce plastic bag waste, a new fee on the bags and a requirement that bag manufacturers fund a program to collect and recycle them.

"The blight of plastic bags takes a devastating toll on our streets, our water and our natural resources, and we need to take action to protect our environment", Cuomo said Monday, The Hill reported. Cuomo promised to form a task force to study the plastic-bag issue, which is usually a recipe for doing nothing.

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The governor is calling for a legislative solution, and the New York State Senate, which is controlled by Republicans in large part because of the governor, is unlikely to pass anything.

If you think about it, you get a plastic bag nearly every time you are at a grocery store, getting food to go, grabbing something at a gas station, or buying something anywhere.

Currently, 10 cities, towns, and villages in NY have enacted plastic bag bans. The City of Long Beach has a single-use plastic bag fee in place and Suffolk County's single-use plastic bag fee took effect on January 1, 2018.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 80% of ocean pollution is from land use, including plastic bags. These bags do not biodegrade and they persist for years. "Today's announcement reinforces the governor's standing as an innovative, forward-thinking environmental leader".