Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposal to ban single-use plastic bags from retail sales has gained substantial ground, as New York State lawmakers have agreed with the measures. According to this NYTimes article, New York follows California, as the second state to impose such a significant statewide mandate. This sort of environmental measure needed to come from the top, because it was never going to gain any traction with the retailers, or with consumers that continue to gobble up the single use plastic bags without a care in the world.
Cuomo initially announced his plans for the ban this past January. Then, earlier this week, local leaders voiced their support of the ban, which includes allowing counties to opt in for a five-cent fee to be charged for the use of individual paper bags. The funds derived from the fee would be allocated to the Environmental Protection Fund. The funds would be used for:
- Education for decreasing plastic pollution
- Distributing reusable bags to low or fixed-income communities
- Cleanup of roads, shorelines, and waterways
NYTimes posted that the ban is part of the state’s budget bills that are slated to be passed by Monday.