New York Looks to Join California and Ban Plastic Bags
In March of 2017, Governor Cuomo created the New York State Plastic Bag Task Force which he hoped would develop a feasible solution to the problem of pollution caused by plastic bags and in April of 2018, following Task Force recommendation, Governor Cuomo proposed a law that would ban retailers from offering customers bags that are not bio-degradable. That proposed law was never voted on by the Legislature. However, Governor Cuomo has no intentions of letting the proposal fall by the wayside. On Sunday, Cuomo announced that his 2019 executive budget will include a ban on single-use plastic bags.
In a news release, Governor Cuomo said, this would be a "statewide plastic bag prohibition." Governor Cuomo’s news release did say that there would be an exemption effort to the ban in lower-income areas and that handing out free, reusable bags would be a part of that effort.
"While the federal government is taking our environmental progress backwards and selling out our communities to polluters and oil companies, in New York we are moving forward with the nation's strongest environmental policies and doing everything in our power to protect our natural resources for future generations," Governor Cuomo said. "These bold actions to ban plastic bags and promote recycling will reduce litter in our communities, protect our water and create a cleaner and greener New York for all."
Also, this weekend, the governor's office announced it wants to increase the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 and also that it wants to expand the state’s bottle bill which would make non-alcoholic plastic drink containers such as those used for sports drinks, eligible for a five-cent redemption.