plastic bag ban

John Smith / WAER-FM 88.3

Central New Yorkers are in the midst of a transition to reusable shopping bags after the state law that bans single-use plastic bags went into effect Sunday. The Department of Environmental Conservation, or DEC, has teamed up with Food Bank of Central New York to ensure reusable bags are accessible to everyone, regardless of income.

Karen DeWitt / WXXI News

New York’s ban on single use plastic bags at grocery stores and other outlets takes effect March 1, and stores that haven’t already made the change are gearing up for it. One food store has never offered its own plastic bags in its 40 year history, and they say no one has been bothered by that.

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On March 1 grocery stores and other retail outlets will no longer be providing shoppers with single use plastic bags. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration  is making a last minute push to get the word out on the plastic bag ban.

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The state’s ban on most single use plastic bags takes effect March 1st. Over the President's Day holiday weekend, Governor Cuomo’s environmental agency released regulations on how to carry out the new law. But the new rules have left both environmentalists and the plastics industry fuming.

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Beginning in March, New York will ban single use plastic bags at grocery stores and other retail outlets, which supporters believe will cut down on residents’ use of an estimated 23 billion plastic bags each year. State regulators released new rules to enforce the changes, and groups on both sides of the issue say those rules are flawed.

Gov. Cuomo Signs Plastic Bag Ban Into Law

Apr 23, 2019
Governor Cuomo's flickr page

As Earth Day was celebrated Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that bans single use plastic bags in grocery stores and other retail shops in New York State.

New York State

The New York state budget is starting to take shape, as lawmakers planned to return to the Capitol for a rare Sunday session to begin voting to meet the April 1 deadline.

There are still a few  moving parts to the budget, but Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins  says the some of the remaining items- increasing school aide funding, criminal justice reform and public financing of campaigns are “within striking distance of being resolved”. 

“I think we’re at the finish line,” Stewart-Cousins said. “We are working hard to get an on time budget.”

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The sponsors of a bill to  ban single use plastic  bags in New York are optimistic that the measures will be part of the new state budget. But there are still details to be worked out, including whether there should be a fee on paper bags.

Lawmakers and environmental groups, stood outside the Assembly chambers, in a Capitol filled with groups making their last minute pitches for items in the state budget.

Assemblyman Sean Ryan, of Buffalo, held up a crumpled plastic bag, saying the overuse of the bags is an  environmental  scourge.

Governor Cuomo unveiled a number of environmental priorities this week in his state of the state address, including one that’s been a bit more controversial.

A Range of Opinions on Proposed Ban for Single-Use Plastic Bags

May 1, 2018
Scott Willis / WAER News

Governor Cuomo has announced legislation to enact a ban on single-use plastic bags at all retail and grocery stores in New York State. While most agree that reusable fabric bags carried in and out of stores are the best option when it comes to cutting back on pollution, not all agree that plastic bags should be taken out of the equation completely.  Local organizations have mixed opinions about this opposed ban.