New York State Poised To Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags

New York State Poised To Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags”

Drivers traveling into the busiest sections of Manhattan will be subject to a congestion charge starting in 2021 and single-use plastic bags will be banned across NY state in less than a year, under a $175.5bn state budget agreement announced on Sunday by the governor, Andrew Cuomo, and legislative leaders.

"For far too long plastic bags have blighted our environment and clogged our waterways and that's why I proposed a ban in this year's budget".

Lawmakers could not come to an agreement on recreational marijuana in the FY 2020 budget.

NY lawmakers have reached an agreement to implement a state-wide ban on single-use plastic bags, due to take effect in March 2020.

When would the ban take effect?

New Yorkers use some 23 billion plastic sacks a year, Cuomo said last year.

NY is set to become the second state in the country to ban plastic shopping bags, but it will be up to its counties and cities whether to charge a fee for paper. They are banned in much of Hawaii, since that state's most populous counties now prohibit their use.

That said, a plastic bag ban will not promote the utilization of reusable bags and will in fact increase the use of paper bags. "While the best policy would be a ban on plastic bags coupled with a statewide fee on other disposable bags, this agreement represents a tremendous step forward".

Lawmakers have also agreed on a measure that would close two yet-to-be-determined state prisons.

A congestion-pricing plan for Manhattan is taking shape, and lawmakers are still considering whether to impose a pied-à-terre tax for non-primary residential luxury apartments in New York City worth over $5 million, or instead substitute a real estate transfer tax on sale of homes worth more than $5 million.

Other pending issues still being negotiated included criminal justice reform and public financing of political campaigns.

Like in the budget season, some issues will make the cut and others could fall by the wayside when lawmakers adjourn for the year in mid-June.

"Doing the right budget is more important than doing on time", said Cuomo.

Revenue from the tax would go to transit.

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