With environmental protesters outside Capitol, Cuomo proposes plastic bag ban

ALBANY, NY | Cynthia Nixon joins climate change march, rally

The governor says the announcement comes in response to the findings of a task force on the environmental impact of the bags.

The plastic bag ban, which Cuomo introduced in the NY legislature, isn't likely to go anywhere, and "will likely end up being more of a grand gesture than anything", according to NY magazine.

If the ban is passed in NY, efforts to encourage the use of reusable bags will also increase. According to Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, that will be key to meeting the state's climate goal of a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over the next 12 years.

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"We welcome anyone to this critical effort as we work to protect our environment for future generations and create a cleaner, greener NY", campaign spokeswoman Abbey Fashouer said. Garment bags, trash bags and bags used to wrap food such as fruit and sliced meats would be exempt from the bill. The Task Force is led by State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos along with co-chairs Senator Thomas O'Mara and Assemblyman Steve Englebright.

Cuomo, a Democrat, introduced a bill that prevent groceries, convenience stores and all other points of sale from using single-use, film plastic bags with certain exceptions, such as bags used for produce or those used for home-delivered newspapers. If passed, it would go into effect on New Year's Day of 2019. So do many cities including Chicago, Seattle and more than a dozen local communities in NY state. Fewer carryout bags given away at checkout could result in decreased recycling and disposal costs for municipalities and municipal recycling facilities.

If you think about it, you get a plastic bag nearly every time you are at a grocery store, getting food to go, grabbing something at a gas station, or buying something anywhere. One municipality has a plastic bag ban with a fee on single-use paper bags and bags that qualify as reusable, including 2.25 mil flexible plastic bags.

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"The governor's proposal has so many loopholes, it's hard to tell what plastic bag it would restrict, if any", he said. From Buffalo to the Adirondack Park, and from the Catskills to the Long Island Sound, plastic bag waste is degrading our natural resources and forcing municipalities to spend precious resources to address it.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced support for a plastic bag ban in March.

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