New York Governor introduces bill to ban plastic bags
New York, April 24 (IANS) New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has embraced a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags and has introduced a bill to outlaw them by next year, the media reported.
The three-page bill, introduced by the governor on Monday, comes a little more than a year after he blocked a 5-cent surcharge that New York city had sought to place on single-use plastic bags, reports The New York Times.
Cuomo described the measure as an effort to counteract the “blight of plastic bags” that is taking “a devastating toll on our streets, our water and our natural resources”.
The second-term Governor seeking a re-election later this year said: “We did not inherit the earth, we are merely borrowing it from our children.”
If the bill passes, New York would join California, which approved a statewide ban of plastic bags in 2016.
Hawaii has a de facto ban on plastic bags.
Monday’s proposal came as a result of a report in January by a task force that Cuomo convened last year after blocking the city bill, The New York Times reported.
A ban was one of eight options entertained by that report, though it also outlined a number of drawbacks, including the fact that paper bags, an alternative to plastic, cost retailers “three to five times as much as single-use plastic bags”.
Under Cuomo’s proposal, a variety of bags would be exempted from the ban, including those that contains raw meat, fish or poultry; bags sold in bulk; those used in bulk packages of fruit and dried goods; those used for deli products; newspaper bags; trash, food storage and garment bags; and takeout food bags.