Kudos to New York for Officially Banning All Plastic Bags

Earth Day 2019 marked a big step forward for the state of New York. On April 22nd, New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill banning all single-use plastic bags which will go into full effect March 2020. This bill makes New York the third state to pass a similar bill following California and Hawaii.


This move follows the New York State Plastic Bag Task Force, which was initiated by the governor back in 2017. Research from the task force uncovered the grim reality of single-use plastic, with the report noting,

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,

Studies from the EPA and other organizations have estimated that the state of New York uses 23 billion plastic bags each year, with over half ending up in landfills. With Americans as a whole estimated to use around 100 billion single-use bags yearly, the New York bill will cut American usage by over 20%.


So what will the ban look like in effect? Stores and vendors will be barred from handing out plastic bags, with a few exceptions for items like newspapers and meats. Each county will be able to implement a 5¢ fee per single-use bag if they so choose, with all profits going to both New York’s Environmental Protection Fund and toward the distribution of paper and reusable bags.

As always, we’d like to hear your take. Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments below.