Cuomo proposes plastic bag ban, bottle redemption expansion

Jan 14, 2019

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to see single-use plastic bags banned in New York State and is proposing a prohibition on them as part of his upcoming executive budget.

Cuomo announced the proposal on Sunday, along with a proposal to make most non-alcoholic bottles eligible for a 5-cent redemption.

"Since Gov. Mario Cuomo enacted the Solid Waste Management Act 30 years ago, New York recycling laws have helped reduce waste in communities across the state," Cuomo said. "Under the Act, local municipalities adopted local recycling laws requiring source separation of recyclable, which have diverted more than 320 million tons of recyclables from disposal, reducing 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in the process by decreasing methane emissions from landfills and reducing energy and fossil fuel use associated with the production of plastics and glass."

Cuomo said the bottle measure is the next major step in protecting the environment.

Credit National Public Radio

He called the bag ban a "bold action" that would "create a cleaner and greener New York for all." He 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.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said the proposals "will bolster New York's ongoing efforts to improve recycling markets and reduce contamination in the waste stream."

Cuomo, a Democrat, is scheduled to release his executive budget on Tuesday. A final budget in negotiation with the state Legislature is supposed to be passed by April 1.