New York State lawmakers agree to impose a statewide ban on most types of single-use plastic bags from retail sales to curb an unsightly and omnipresent source of litter.
Plastic Bags to Be Banned in New York
The plan, proposed a year ago by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, would be the second statewide ban, after California, which banned bags in 2016. Hawaii also effectively has a ban in place, since all the state’s counties bar such single-use bags. New York’s ban, which would begin next March, would forbid stores to provide customers with single-use plastic bags, which are non-biodegradable and have been blamed for everything from causing gruesome wildlife deaths to thwarting recycling efforts. — NYTimes
The plan would have an additional element allowing counties to opt in to a 5-cent fee on paper bags
The ban, which is expected to be part of the state’s budget bills, would however include a number of exceptions, including food takeout bags used by restaurants, bags used to wrap deli or meat counter products and bags for bulk items.
Newspaper bags would also be exempted, as would garment bags and bags sold in bulk, such as trash or recycling bags.
The plan would have an additional element allowing counties to opt in to a 5-cent fee on paper bags, revenue that would go to the state’s Environmental Protection Fund as well as a separate fund to buy reusable bags for consumers.
In a statement released late Thursday afternoon, Mr. Cuomo said that “These bags have blighted our environment and clogged our waterways,” adding that the plan agreed to in Albany would be a way to “protect our natural resources for future generations of New Yorkers.”
Winning the war on plastic: in other recent news…
This announcement comes hot on the heels of New York City’s recent ban on styrofoam. As of January 1, 2019 certain foam products are be banned from possession, sale, or use in NYC. This includes foam takeout containers, cups, packing peanuts, plates, bowls and trays. Learn more on this story.
And last month Maryland was the first state to ban styrofoam cups and containers, with both chambers of the state legislature passing bills banning food containers made of polystyrene, also known as plastic foam. Learn more on this story.
Also last month, single-use plastic items such as plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks or cotton buds, will be banned in the EU from 2021 under new legislation just passed. Learn more on this story.
And just months on from Australia’s major supermarkets sensational plastic bag ban, one retail industry group estimates 1.5 billion bags have been eliminated from use. Learn more on this story.
For more stories about positive change, check out BrightVibes “Sustainable Planet” section, where we cover green technologies, ecological practices, and the latest inventions and initiatives to help us take care of our world.
Keep on at your politicians at local and national levels. Tell them what you want. Make change happen.
TIME TO BAN ALL PLASTIC PACKAGING FOR GOOD SOUNDS IMPOSSIBLE, RIGHT? WRONG!
Sustainable solutions are being developed in ever growing numbers, offering the conscientious consumer viable green alternatives to the blight of plastic packaging. Here are some ideas to get you started.