Several state legislators and environmental advocates called for a comprehensive single-use bag policy including a ban on plastic with a fee on all other carryout bags.
Under the new legislation, NY counties would be able to levy a five-cent tax on paper bags, with part of the resulting revenue going to an environmental-protection fund.
New York State will soon become the second US state to impose a ban on plastic bags, after a vote by state legislators this week, with a view not only toward cutting down on the long-lived materials, but also on the greenhouse gases used to manufacture them. The Food Industry Alliance of New York State, representing many of those in the state's grocery industry, opposed the ban.
"With this smart, multi-pronged action NY will be leading the way to protect our natural resources now and for future generations of New Yorkers", he added. "For far too long these bags have blighted our environment and clogged our waterways and that's why I proposed a ban in this year's budget", the governor added.
Read the full report at the New York Times. Manufacturing plastic bags produces a high amount of greenhouse gases, and, like many other plastic products, the standard bags are not biodegradebale. People can still get plastic carry out bags for food, get dry cleaning in plastic bags and put fruits and vegetables in plastic bags at the supermarket.
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But New York's new ban has faced pushback.
Democratic lawmakers held a news conference Wednesday to promote the issue, though they were hesitant to discuss any specifics, including whether the paper-bag fee would be 5 or 10 cents and whether anyone, such as food-stamps recipients, would be exempted. Studies have proven that paper bags cost more to generate and transport, which impacts the environment at a significant rate.
The budget also will include a new tax on prescription opioids.
"With this smart, multi-pronged action New York will be leading the way to protect our natural resources now and for future generations of New Yorkers", New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.
"I think we have a lot of agreements or are close to agreement", Heastie said.