New York is set to be the second state in the whole country to put a sweeping ban on single plastic bags in an effort to curb pollution.
As a part of State’s $175 billion budget, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Democratic lawmakers have reached a deal to prohibit single-use plastic bags statewide. “These bags have blighted our environment and clogged our waterways,” Cuomo said in a statement to The New York Times.
The ban will be applied to all single-use plastic bags provided by the stores to carry out goods. It does not apply to reusable bags with handles made out of durable material like cloth.
The ban has 11 exceptions. Some of them include: for uncooked meat and poultry, bulk items, unprepared food, prescription drugs. The ban, if implemented, would be effective from March 1, 2020, The state has left it up to the individual counties to decide whether or not they want to charge fees for the paper bag. The fee would be 5 cents per bag out of which 2 cents will go to the local governments that do charge the fee and 3 cents will go to the state’s Environmental Protection Fund.
The food industry is not very happy about this ban.
Also, the Environmentalists aren’t very happy about it either. They weren’t pleased to learn counties and cities would have to opt-in to charging the paper-bag fee.