Gov. Cuomo calls for ban on single-use plastic bags in 2019 budget

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Lucy Yang has the details.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he will take new steps to protect the environment in the 2019 state budget, including advancing legislation to ban all single-use plastic bags.

Cuomo said the ban will help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with plastic bag production and disposal, from petroleum used to produce the bags to emissions from the transportation of bags to landfills.

The governor said New Yorkers use billions of plastic bags annually which do not biodegrade, creating massive amounts of litter in neighborhoods and waterways and posing a threat to the health of New Yorkers and the environment.

Cuomo also announced plans to expand New York's bottle bill to make most non-alcoholic drink containers eligible for 5 cent redemption, including those for sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit and vegetable beverages and ready-to-drink teas and coffee.

"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," Cuomo said.

Suffolk County enacted a new environmental law that went into effect in 2018 mandating that plastic bags cost five cents each.

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