New York bans single-use plastic bags

New York becomes the second state to ban single-use plastic bags starting in March 2020.

Image Credit: Mary Altaffer/AP

New York became the second state to ban single-use plastic bags as part of a progressive budget that included the elimination of cash bail for most misdemeanors and non violent crimes among several other measures.

The single-use plastic bag ban, which goes into effect in March 2020, gives business owners the option to offer consumers paper bags for five cents. The five cents charged would be divided with two cents going to a fund to help low-income consumers buy reusable bags and the other three cents going to the state’s Environmental Protection Fund, EcoWatch reported.

New York now joins California, who enacted a ban on plastic bags in 2016, but some exceptions come with the ban for “takeout, dry cleaning, bulk and deli items, newspapers and bags like garbage bags bought in bulk,” EcoWatch reported.

“I think we’ll look back in a few years and people will wonder why we didn’t do this sooner,” Democratic Nassau County State Senator Todd Kaminsky, sponsor of the bill and chair of the environmental conservation committee, said.

The state’s $175.5 billion budget, which includes the plastic bag ban, also includes measures such as three-hours-off for voting time on election day and the “nation’s first-ever congestion pricing program in the busiest part of Manhattan,” EcoWatch reported.

“I am proud to announce that together, we got it done,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said regarding the budget.


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