Lawmakers discuss proposal for statewide plastic bag ban
Proposal also includes a five-cent fee for use of individual paper bags
By: Mariann Cabness
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A little over a week before the state budget deadline, Democratic Assemblyman Sean Ryan discussed a statewide proposal which would ban plastic bags and place a fee on paper bags in retail stores on March 23, 2019.
“This ban will help us to protect our environment, and encourage consumers to bring reusable bags with them, which will drastically reduce the amount litter in our environment," said Ryan.
Ryan, joined by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Brian Smith, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, gave details about the proposal at Delaware Park.
The proposal is currently being considered for inclusion in the upcoming New York State Budget, according to Ryan.
In addition to the plastic bag ban, the budget proposal calls for a five-cent fee to be charged for the use of individual paper bags.
Ryan said the five-cent fee charged for paper bags will go to the environmental protection fund.
The environmental protection fund would allot funds to go towards education for decreasing plastic pollution, distributing reusable bags to low or fixed-income communities, and cleanup of roads, shorelines, and waterways.
"We all must work together to decrease plastic pollution and at the same time increase the distribution of reusable shopping bags," said Poloncarz.
The deadline for the 2019-2020 New York State Budget is April 1, 2019.