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The New York Times this morning reports that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that he plans to push for a statewide plastic bag ban in 2019, though details were “scant” and nobody seems to know exactly what is being proposed.

The Times notes that “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.”

The bill that failed, the Times writes, “offered a variety of exemptions from the ban, including bags that contained raw meat, fish or poultry; bags used for bulk packaging of fruit and dried goods; takeout food bags used by restaurants; and newspaper bags. It was unclear whether those exemptions would remain in Mr. Cuomo’s proposal this year.” It also is not known what position legislation would take on paper bags, which have their own - though different - environmental impact.
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