NY governor pushes to ban plastic bags

NY governor pushes to ban plastic bags

Andrew Cuomo is asking lawmakers to enact a statewide plastic bag ban that would target single-use bags employed by grocers and restaurants, arguing that they pollute the states streets and waterways.

"Garment bags, trash bags and any bags used to wrap or contain certain foods" would be exempt, according to the governor's office. He added, "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".

The bill would also make the state the sole jurisdiction for regulating the use of plastic bags.

Cuomo promised to form a task force to study the plastic-bag issue, which is usually a recipe for doing nothing.

Before setting off, Nixon said Cuomo hasn't done enough to develop renewable energy industries in NY state despite being in office for more than seven years. In the Pacific Ocean there is a huge mass of plastic known as the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch".

If passed, the ban would go into effect on January 1 of next year.

To reach the new goal, the state will be investing more than $36 million to train up-to 19,500 New Yorkers for new energy-efficiency jobs.

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The state says the ban will reduce waste and environmental impacts. So do many cities including Chicago, Seattle and more than a dozen local communities in NY state.

"In fact they've included a pretty significant loophole". Fewer carryout bags given away at checkout could result in decreased recycling and disposal costs for municipalities and municipal recycling facilities. And it does not require retailers to set a fee for customers' use of plastic bags.

Though she didn't rule out attending the convention, Nixon said: "I tend to think we're going to be collecting signatures".

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

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Citizens Campaign for the Environment Executive Director Adrienne Esposito said, "Plastic pollution has become a serious threat to our lakes, rivers and marine environment as well as public health".

"However, the evidence does not support a ban on plastic with no fee on paper bags", Cherson said in a statement.

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