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The New York Times reports that the New York State Legislature has “agreed to impose a statewide ban on most types of single-use plastic bags from retail sales,” making it the second state in the union - after California - to impose such a ban.

The New York version, which takes effect in a year, will “forbid stores to provide customers with single-use plastic bags, which are nonbiodegradable and have been blamed for everything from causing gruesome wildlife deaths to thwarting recycling efforts … The plan would have an additional element allowing counties to opt in to a 5-cent fee on paper bags, revenue that would go to the state’s Environmental Protection Fund as well as a separate fund to buy reusable bags for consumers.”

The bill, which is expected to be passed into law today, has been the subject of considerable debate, with some criticizing the state for not allowing retailers to keep any portion of the five-cent paper bag fee as a way of defraying some of their expenses. Others have argued that the impact on the environment will be negligible, while still others have suggested that years from now, people will wonder what took us so long to make this move.
KC's View:
I know there will be a lot of pushback on this, but in the end, I would suggest that for most people, it isn’t so hard to simply have cloth, reusable bags … you just have to make the commitment on the theory that less crap of any kind going into landfills is a good thing. yes, I know it isn’t a perfect system … but it just seems to me like a step in the right direction.