Governor Cuomo pushing to ban plastic bags across NY state

Source: WIVB Buffalo

Governor Cuomo pushing to ban plastic bags across NY state

Posted: January 14, 2019
Originally Published: January 14, 2019

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - "I think it's a good idea I'd love to see plastic out of the environment. I think we're too reliant on plastic in everything in our lives," said Genevieve Rados of Buffalo.

"I have been using plastic bags but my wife and I always recycle," said Michael Mirand of Buffalo.

Some customers like Michael Mirand enjoy the convenience of plastic bags while shopping for groceries, but he ultimately doesn't support how plastic impacts the environment.

"It's probably good just to suck it up and get rid of them" said Mirand.

This may become reality across New York state. Governor Cuomo is including provisions in his executive budget for 2019 to ban single-use plastic bags.

"We see them littering our communities, our parks, but also they never biodegrade. They break down into smaller and smaller pieces and they eventually wash into our Great Lakes. There's 22 million pounds of plastic that enter the Great Lakes everyday," said Brian Smith, Citizens Campaign for the Environment Associate Director.

Many customers of the Lexington Co-op have already moved away from using plastic bags. Last year the Co-op gave out more than 2 thousand reusable canvas bags for customers to use instead.

"We support a statewide ban on plastic bags," said Tim Bartlett, Lexington Co-op General Manager.

Citizens Campagin for the Environment Associate Director Brian Smith says a plastic bag ban policy has been effective in curbing plastic pollution in hundreds of communities across the country.

"There's about 20 communities throughout New York state that have passed some sort of bag policy. But this is not just a local issue this is a statewide problem so that's why we think it makes a lot of sense for the state to make this policy official," said Smith.

Smith says Cuomo's proposal is a huge step in the right direction but he believes the ban could be further enhanced.

"Having a ban and complementing that with a 5 cent fee on paper bags has been the most effective policy in other parts of the country," said Smith.

Watch the video.