Gov. Cuomo pitches statewide plastic bag ban


On Tuesday, Cuomo abruptly decided that he wants to ban all plastic bags in NY state. Garment bags, trash bags and bags that are used to wrap or contain foods like fruit and sliced meets would be exempt. "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 NY for all".

Under the legislation, the state would also launch an outreach campaign to increase "consumer awareness of single-use bags and their harmful impact on the environment".

The United States Environmental Protection agency estimates that 80% of plastic pollution in the ocean originated on land.

A handful of towns and cities in NY now ban plastic bags, and California is the only other entire state to have such a policy.

As stated in the release, eliminating plastic bags will save $12.5 million in waste removal in New York City alone.

If the plastic ban measure is adopted by the Legislature, it would become effective in 2019. Cuomo promised to form a task force to study the plastic-bag issue, which is usually a recipe for doing nothing.

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He introduced a bill Monday that would ban plastic carryout bags from any point of sale in the state.

Cuomo's bill comes as he runs for reelection amid criticism from some environmentalists that he is not doing enough to protect the state's environment.

Every year, NY residents use about 23 billion plastic bags, leading to litter and plastic pollution.

Cuomo cited the "devastating toll" plastic bags take on our natural resources.


Governor Cuomo's announcement was unsurprisingly met with support from national and local clean energy organisations. The City of Long Beach has a single-use plastic bag fee in place and Suffolk County's single-use plastic bag fee took effect on January 1, 2018.

Cynthia Nixon has pushed Governor Andrew Cuomo so far out of his comfort zone that he's now proposing new laws for which he has previously expressed zero enthusiasm.