New York State lawmakers imposed a state-wide ban on majority types of single-use plastic bags, to help the environment. The agreement will take place in effect from March 2020. The goal of the deal is part of the state budget plan due on April 1, and it is to encourage consumers to rely on reusable tote bags.
This idea by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and will be the second state-wide ban, after California, which banned bags in 2016. Other states have also taken steps to outlaw plastic products recently.
The ban will protect our environment natural resources for our future generation and wild life, which has already caused significant environmental problems.
According to The Associated Press, Environmental advocates have estimated that New Yorkers use approximately 23 billion plastic bags each year.
The plastic waste in landfills does decompose, albeit very slowly. Plastic debris that lands up in the ocean could take up to 20 years to breaks down or longer depends if it’s bags, bottles, or fishing line. Plastic degrades into tiny pieces until you can not see them unless you use a microscope. One doesn’t really knows how long it takes, yet it could remain in the ocean for decades. But when it breaks down, it breaks down into smaller pieces and gets ingested by some marine life.
The ban is good news reducing plastic that goes into landfills and waterways. It is estimated that 12 million barrels of oil are used to make these plastic bags used in New York yearly.
The ban when in effect will outlaw the use of single-use plastic bags at majority stores but would allow specific industries to continue using them. An extra factor will allow counties to opt into a five cent fee on paper bags which would then go to Environmental Protection Fund as well as a separate fund to purchase reusable bags for consumers.
Some more good news is that Maryland will be the first in the region to propose a ban against polystyrene food containers completely.