Plastic bag floating next to a tropical coral reef, a problem beyond us. Photo: Richard Whitcombe /Shutterstock

Could New York be the next state to ban plastic bags? Ten towns and cities in New York have already banned the use of plastic bags. Now the rest of the state could follow. Governor Andrew Cuomo just introduced a bill to ban single-use plastic bags statewide, where people use 23 billion of them each year.

After blocking a New York City bill for a fee of five cents per plastic bag and launching a task force last year, the governor announced this bill based on the report’s recommendations. of the working group. Garbage bags, clothes bags and bags for wrapping certain foods like meat or fruit would not be part of the law. Instead, the bill focuses on single-use “any point of sale” plastic bags. The law will be implemented with an educational campaign to educate citizens about the environmental impact of plastic bags and promote reusable bags.

Will Cuomo’s bill pass? It’s not closed yet. The New York Times said Senate and Assembly leaders oppose the New York bill. Assembly spokesperson Carl Heastie told the New York Times that the Assembly primarily supported a ban; a tax was another story. The Republican-led Senate may or may not approve the bill, it is still pending.

Plastic bag on the street of any city in the world.
Plastic bag on the street of any city in the world. Photo: socrates471 /Shutterstock

Some people doubt this is the right time for the bill, as Cuomo faces the challenge of re-electing Cynthia Nixon, who recently unveiled her climate platform. Although its website makes no mention of plastic bags, it bets heavily on issues such as energy; for example, criticizing Cuomo for saving three aging nuclear power plants last year with more than $ 7 billion in taxpayers.

If passed, Cuomo’s plastic bag ban would take effect on January 1, 2019.

It is important that more and more cities, states and countries adhere to this type of legislation. Even if it is only for contagion or fashion, others who have doubts or some reluctance will join as well. It is a global problem that requires global action.