By Michael Gold
The plastic bag ban plan is back.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Sunday that he would push for a statewide ban on single-use plastic shopping bags as part of his 2019 budget plan, which he will introduce in Albany on Tuesday.
Efforts to regulate the bags in New York have been discussed for years; the governor first proposed legislation to prohibit the ubiquitous bags last April. That bill, which stalled in the Republican-led State Senate, came more than a year after Mr. Cuomo and the state Legislature blocked a 5-cent fee that New York City officials wanted to impose on the bags.
As plastic bags have polluted sidewalks, landfills and waterways, bans on the bags have become a hotly debated issue. Several New York municipalities have shopping bag laws, following dozens of local governments across the country in adopting bans, fees or a combination of the two.
Chicago passed a ban on thin, lightweight plastic bags in 2015, then repealed that law in 2016 and replaced it with a 7-cent fee on paper and plastic. A 2018 study from researchers at the University of Chicago and New York University said disposable bag use in the city was down 40 percent.
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