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Governor Cuomo Introduces Bill Banning Single Use Plastic Bags In NY

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today introduced a program bill that would ban all single-use, plastic carryout bags at any point of sale in New York State. This action follows the release of the New York State Plastic Bags Task Force report in January, which outlined the environmental impact of plastic bags, single-use bag reduction measures, and proposed actions that the state could take to reduce pollution and protect New York's natural resources, including a ban on single-use plastic bags.

"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," Governor Cuomo said. "As the old proverb goes: 'We did not inherit the earth, we are merely borrowing it from our children,' and with this action we are helping to leave a stronger, cleaner and greener New York for all."

As communities and states across the country continue to struggle with the ecological and financial costs associated with the use of plastic bags, New York is taking action to implement legislation that will ban plastic bags statewide. The Governor launched the New York State Plastic Bag Task Force in March 2017 to conduct a study and develop a comprehensive solution to the use and disposal of plastic bags and how best to deter their environmental impact. The Task Force is led by State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos along with co-chairs Senator Thomas O'Mara and Assemblyman Steve Englebright.

The Task Force conducted a survey of more than a dozen municipalities in New York State that currently have plastic bag laws. The Task Force also encouraged public comment on the issue and received 558 responses between March and December 2017. The full report is available here.

Based on recommendations included in the report, the Governor is introducing a program bill that would ban the provision of single-use, plastic carryout bags at any point of sale, and would provide the Department of Environmental Conservation with exclusive jurisdiction over all matters related to plastic bags and film plastic recycling. The bill exempts garment bags, trash bags and any bags used to wrap or contain certain foods, such as fruits and sliced meats. The bill would go into effect on January 1, 2019.

In addition to the legislation, the state will undertake an education and outreach campaign to increase consumer awareness of single-use bags and their harmful impact on the environment. Education efforts will also seek to educate consumers of the impact plastic bags have on the environment and the waste stream, and promote use of reusable bags.

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Hal    146

I’m all for it ... stupidest thing ever flimsy super thin and seen scattered all over  , a reusable bag is super cheap ! Heard a lady on the news tonight commenting about how this will effect the “ poor “ , c’mon really ?! 

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KReed    213
7 hours ago, Hal said:

Heard a lady on the news tonight commenting about how this will effect the “ poor “ , c’mon really ?! 

I saw that nonsense too! Seriously?????

Don't we already see plenty of "poor" people all over the place re-using their disposable bags to collect deposit cans?  I think it's a safe bet that they can keep those bags they're already hoarding and use them to tote their groceries home. 

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Hal    146

Anybody else here repurpose or recycle these bags ?! We do but I would just as soon not to have to , and tote bags are easier to bring in groceries from the car . 

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Mary    109

There's a running joke in my house about having giant bags of bags. I have a ton of tote bags, yet I always seem to forget to bring them to the store. I do use the plastic bags for bathroom trash cans, and other things. If we can move forward with a more responsible way, I am all for it. Although, I will be honest, this means that in the meantime, I may continue to hoard the plastic while I can. LOL

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Hal    146

Guilty as charged Mary , lining bathroom trash can , cleaning the cat box even double bagging bread for the freezer and taking them back to the recycling bin at the store . Which brings to mind , at the landfill recycling bins plastic bags are not recyclable WTH ? O.o

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Chris    523

So it sounds all well and good for grocery stores, but what about places like Target or Walmart? Are we going to have to take our own bags there too?

Here's an idea: Go back to paper bags which is a natural, biodegradable, and renewal material. 

Better yet, let's ban Cuomo. 

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Mary    109

I remember the pitch that the paper bags were worse for the environment- I almost fell out of my place in line!

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KReed    213
9 hours ago, Chris said:

So it sounds all well and good for grocery stores, but what about places like Target or Walmart? Are we going to have to take our own bags there too?

Yeah....then cue the deluge of retailers complaining that everyone bringing totes into the store creates a huge uptick in shoplifting. 

9 hours ago, Chris said:

Better yet, let's ban Cuomo. 

Can we get a "hell yeah!"?

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