Gov. Cuomo to include plastic bag ban proposal in budget

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MILAN, ITALY – DECEMBER 30: A woman carries a plastic bag on December 30, 2010 in Milan, Italy. Italy, who currently use approximately 20 billion plastic bags per year, is banning non-biodegradable polyethylene bags as of January 1, 2011. Legislation on the ban was originally set in 2006, with a dealine of 2010, but was […]

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday said his upcoming executive budget would include a proposal to ban single-use plastic bags in New York state.

Cuomo said his budget, which he is scheduled to release Tuesday, would also include a proposal to make most non-alcoholic bottles eligible for a 5-cent redemption.

Cuomo, a Democrat, called the bag ban a “bold action” that would “create a cleaner and greener New York for all.”

“While the federal government is taking our environmental progress backwards and selling out our communities to polluters and oil companies, in New York we are moving forward with the nation’s strongest environmental policies and doing everything in our power to protect our natural resources for future generations,” he said.

He said any initiative would include exemptions where appropriate.

Cuomo had first proposed a ban last April after he and lawmakers in 2017 blocked a proposed plastic bag fee from going into effect in New York City. At the time, Cuomo said his concern was over the monies raised by the fee going to store owners instead of environmental causes.

For the bottle bill proposal, Cuomo’s expansion would add bottles for sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit and vegetable drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffee to the list of those that can be redeemed.

A final budget in negotiation with the state Legislature is supposed to be passed by April 1.

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