The bill banning single-utilize plastic bags statewide has been marked into law. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo held an Earth Day news conference in Kingston, home port of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, to declare the signing to reporters and environmental groups.
Consistently, New Yorkers use around 23 billion plastic bags, and an across the nation think about demonstrated that approximately half of all single-use bags end up as litter. As per Greg Williams, executive director of Clearwater, plastic bags are a large percentage of the plastic waste seen in the river – and even more that is not seen.
“Plastic bags eventually break down into what we call mirco-plastics and end up in the flesh of fish and anything or anybody who eats those fish,” Williams said.
Around the globe, nations and municipalities have seen huge decreases in the utilization of plastic bags bybanning them or instituting a fee for each bag used. Williams said he’s confident New York’s ban will reduce the amount of plastic in the Hudson.
“By 2050, there will be more plastic by weight in the Hudson River than there will be fish,” he said. “So, while they’re just one of a number of sources of plastic, they’re a very important one.”
To encourage the use of reusable bags, the new law also will allow counties and cities in New York to charge a 5 cent fee for single-use paper bags. But Williams pointed out there still is a lot of work to be done to cut down or eliminate plastic waste in the environment.
“I’d like to see the elimination of single-use plastics in fast food,” he said. “Perhaps we can give up plastic straws, plastic cup lids, plastic forks and spoons.”
The ban is scheduled to take effect in March 2020.