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Ban on plastic bags proposed for inclusion in NYS budget

"It's time we take a stand and protect our waterways and environment"

March 23, 2019 - 2:23 pm
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Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz joined Citizens Campaign for the Environment to announce a proposal in the new New York State budget that would ban single-use plastic bags

The proposal, which would see a ban on plastic bags and a fee placed on paper bags in retail stores is currently being considered for inclusion in the upcoming New York State Budget. This measure will help New York State continue to be a leader in environmental conservation and preserve our environment for generations to come.

Anywhere between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year, and each of those bags is used for an average of 12 minutes.  These single-use plastic bags, which never fully break down, regularly end up in our landfills, parks, beaches, and waterways.  Plastic bags also routinely clog storm drains and lead to localized flooding.  A proposal in the 2019-2020 New York State budget will call for a ban on carryout plastic bags from retail stores.

In addition, the budget proposal will call for a five-cent fee to be charged for the use of individual paper bags.  The manufacturing and shipping of paper bags requires more energy and water than plastic bags and requires cutting down 14 million trees every year.  The fee charged for paper bags will go to the environmental protection fund, which will allow for the money to go towards education for decreasing plastic pollution, distributing reusable bags to low or fixed-income communities and cleanup of roads, shorelines, and waterways.

This budget provision would dramatically cut down on the more than 20 billion plastic bags used every year by New Yorkers, providing cleaner waterways, beaches, and parks for generations to come.

“Our waterways, beaches and roadsides have been polluted by decades for single use plastic bags,” Said Assemblyman Sean Ryan. “This ban will help us to protect our environment, and encourage consumers to bring reusable bags with them, which will drastically reduce the amount litter in our environment.  I’m committed to helping this proposal be included in the upcoming budget, and I look forward to New York State taking another step in our efforts to preserve our environment for generations to come.

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