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NY Nears Statewide Ban On Plastic Bags

Get ready to give up your addiction to plastic bags as the legislature prepares to vote in the measure on Sunday as part of the budget package.
Get ready to give up your addiction to plastic bags as the legislature prepares to vote in the measure on Sunday as part of the budget package. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Flickr user MrTakeoutBags

For those of you still holding hopes using plastic bags, the budget vote by state lawmakers may be the end of those pesky bags for good.

Lawmakers have until Sunday to come together on a final budget for the new fiscal year which begins Monday, April 1 and a state-wide ban on the bags is pretty much a done deal.

The legislation which bans use on all single-use plastic bags will most likely be married to a 5-cent fee on paper bags.

While work is still being done on the proposed ban, some sticking points include exempting food stamp recipients and low-income residents from having to pay the fee. And whether a county will be able to opt in or out such as suggested in the recreational marijuana measure. So far, restaurants are not covered in the ban. 

The ban, if passed, would go into effect in March 2020 and will apply to all single-use plastic bags provided by stores that collect sales tax.

Environmentalists have long been pushing for a ban on plastic bags for the environmental harm they cause, according to Riverkeepers.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been attempting to pass the measure since he first brought it up during last year's budget battle. Before that, the governor proposed a fee for the bags.

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