Legislative leaders and New York governor Andrew Cuomo have announced that an agreement has been reached on the state’s 2020 budget. A provision of that budget implements a ban on single-use plastic bags. This makes New York the third state to adopt legislation that officially bans single-use plastic bags. Lawmakers are set to vote on the deal later today following which it will become law after assent by the governor.
California was the first state in the country to ban the bags back in 2014. It also wanted to reduce the number of single-use plastic bags that make their way into the ocean and landfills. Hawaii adopted similar measures the following year.
According to the New York Times, this ban will go into effect in March 2020. Single-use plastic bags, most commonly found in grocery stores, will no longer be allowed. They often end up in oceans and the waterways, adding to pollution. Once the ban is in place, stores will not be allowed to provide these bags to customers.
There will be some exceptions, though, such as bags for newspapers, wrapping meat or produce, and take-out. There’s also a provision for cities and counties to opt-in for a 5-cent fee for paper bags. The revenue from that fund will subsidize reusable bags for low-income customers.
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