New York Governor Andrew Cuomo hopes to ban single-use carryout plastic bags statewide. If passed, the new law would go into effect in January of 2019.

Governor Cuomo is looking to ban all single-use, plastic carryout bags at any point of sale in New York State. The bill exempts garment bags, trash bags and any bags used to wrap or contain certain foods, such as fruits and sliced meats. "Governor Cuomo says: "The blight of plastic bags takes a devastating toll on our streets, our water, and natural resources, and we need to take action to protect our environment."

The New York State Plastic Bag Task Force appointed by Gov. Cuomo in March 2017, states:

  • 80% of plastic pollution in the ocean originates as land-based trash, which includes plastic bags.
  • The average American family uses 1,500 single-use plastic bags each year.
  • 12 million barrels of oil are required to meet this single-use plastic bag production demand.

The report shows a ban on single-use plastic carryout bags will significantly reduce waste and environmental impacts. New York City alone estimates a savings of $12.5 million in disposal costs by reducing the number of single-use plastic bags." The report also says: "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 80 percent of plastic pollution in the ocean originated on land, which includes plastic bags, and in New York, residents use 23 billion plastic bags annually, which contributes to pollution both on and off land. These bags do not biodegrade and they persist for years."

Currently, 10 cities, towns, and villages in New York have enacted plastic bag bans.

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