Some positive news is always welcome and this comes as no exception.
New York has officially banned single-use plastic bags!
The NY governor, Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation on Earth Day (April 22nd) and the new law will come into effect, starting on the 1st of March 2020.
Grocery stores will be banned from providing single-use plastic bags to shoppers under the new law, with 5c paper bag fee also introduced, shoppers will be encouraged to bring their own reusable bags instead.
Some of the paper bag fee’s revenue will be used to provide free reusable bags to residents, focusing on the poorer communities first, with the rest going towards New York’s Environmental Project Fund.
Hopefully, the plastic bag ban will reduce the clogging up of New York’s landfills and waterways and of course, reduce the damage to their ecosystems.
To think, furthermore, this ban could eliminate the need for 12 million barrels of oil annually which are required to make plastic bags just for New York alone, Forbes reports.
This #EarthDay I’m proud to sign legislation banning the sale of single-use plastic bags in New York State.
Plastic bag pollution will soon be history. pic.twitter.com/8gf287qOL5
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 22, 2019
Governor Cuomo made the following statement, according to CBS:
With this smart, multi-pronged action New York will be leading the way to protect our natural resources now and for future generations of New Yorkers.
With an estimated 23 billion bags being used annually in New York by consumers, roughly 50% end up in landfills or city waterways.
The legislation came into play when Cuomo created the New York State Plastic Bag Task Force in March 2017, with a team working on finding a long-term solution to deal with the plastic bag issue.
According to the task force’s final report:
Throughout New York State, plastic bags have become a ubiquitous sight on the landscape. They can be seen stuck in trees, as litter in our neighborhoods, floating in our waterways and as a general aesthetic eyesore of our environment.
Single-use plastic bags are a detriment to the health of communities and the environment alike.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo just signed the state's plastic bag ban, but it won't go into effect until 2020 pic.twitter.com/B7BqnPqpb1
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) April 23, 2019
Being the third state to implement the ban, New York is fast on the heels of California who introduced the same ban in 2016, leading to cleaner beaches and of course reducing the city’s overall cleanup costs.
Hawaii also introduced the same state ban with countries being left free to decide how their restrictions will be implemented.
All we can say is well done to New York for their concerted efforts to make the world a cleaner place!
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