Cuomo Signs Plastic Bag Ban
Governor Andrew Cuomo is signing off on legislation this Earth Day that bans the sale of single-use plastic bags in New York.
The ban will go into effect starting in March of 2020 and counties or cities will also be permitted to charge a five-cent fee for single-use paper bags.
Cuomo says it's a significant step to reduce pollution and protect fish and wildlife.
"You see plastic bags hanging in trees, blowing down the streets, in landfills and in our waterways, and there is no doubt they are doing tremendous damage," Cuomo said. "Twelve million barrels of oil are used to make the plastic bags we use every year and by 2050 there will be more plastic by weight in the oceans than fish. We need to stop using plastic bags, and today we're putting an end to this blight on our environment."
New York joins California and Hawaii as the only states where single-use plastic bags are banned.
Meanwhile, the Rochester-based grocery store chain Wegmans says it will eliminate single-use plastic grocery bags at its New York state stores by year's end.