In a fantastic effort to reduce plastic waste, New York has banned single-use plastic bags from 1st March 2020 onwards.
According to the law, most businesses will now not be allowed to provide or sell plastic bags. However, there are some exemptions to this rule. For instance, bags used for uncooked meat and fish, food delivery services, prescription drugs, and dry cleaning can still be plastic.
This move aims to reduce the consumption of the massive 23 billion plastic bags that are otherwise used in the state each year. A major portion of these bags end up in the streets, waterways, and landfills, causing a huge amount of pollution.
A fee of 5-cents will be imposed on shoppers that opt for paper bags. Alternatively, shoppers can carry their own bags.
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a legislation in March last year that would ban the use of single-use plastics.
“Right this minute, plastic bags are hanging in trees, blowing down the streets, filling up our landfills and polluting our lakes, rivers and streams — all hurting our environment,” said Cuomo. “We took bold action to protect our environment and ban these environmental blights and with this campaign we’re going to make sure New Yorkers are ready and have all the facts.”
Cuomo’s office also came up with a campaign called ‘BYOBagNY’ (Bring Your Own Bag NY) to raise awareness among shoppers.
With this legislation, New York becomes the third state in the United States to prohibit the consumption and sale of single use plastics. Earlier, California and Oregon have enforced similar bans. Maine and Vermont are expected to follow suit this year.
The move has been hailed by environmentalists and climate activists. However, some store owners are displeased with the ban, claiming that it would hurt their businesses.
While it is understandable that citizens might take time to get used to the ban and to carry their own bags, we also believe that this move is very much needed to save our planet. Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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