New Yorkers Left Holding The Bag – But It Better Not Be Plastic
New York is set to become just the second state in the country to ban plastic bags, so here's all you need to know so you don't get caught holding the bag:
Just this week, Governor Andrew Cuomo, along with Democratic lawmakers, finally reached a deal to prohibit single use plastic bags throughout the state. The ban on plastic bags was part of the state's $175 billion dollar budget, and was approved on Monday.
The ban was actually proposed last year, according to nytimes.com, but failed to get the full support of lawmakers. Now that an agreement has been reached, New York would become the second state to ban plastic bags, California had passed their plastic bag ban bill back in 2016.
Since the ban will effect millions of New Yorkers, here are some of the most asked questions regarding the ban, thanks to democrat&chronicle.com.
When will the ban take effect: The ban is set to go into effect in just about a year, on March 1, 2020
Will all types of plastic bags will be banned: The ban will apply to all single-use plastic bags that stores use to carry out goods, however the ban does not apply to reusable bags with handles that are made of cloth or any other type of material that is not plastic.
Will there be any exceptions to the ban: The answer here is yes, there are a number of instances where a store can hand out plastic bags, but only if the bag contains uncooked meat, fish or poultry, sliced or prepared foods, a newspaper for delivery, or prescription drugs. There are however exceptions for bags sold in bulk like trash bags, food storage bags, garment bags, and bags that restaurants hand out for leftovers.
How much is the fee for paper bags: There will be an optional five cent fee charged for paper bags. The only people exempt from paying the paper-bag fee will be those who are low income families and receive SNAP or WIC benefits.
Now you would think a ban like this would make environmentalist's happy, but that's not the case. They were pushing for the ban, plus a mandatory charge for paper. With the optional paper charge, they are concerned that paper bags would still be a factor on area roadways, and waterways.
The food industry is probably the most upset with the plastic ban. They say that the cost for using paper will be substantially more, and that means that you, the consumer, will be absorbing the extra cost.