Albany lawmakers get a handle on plastic bag ban, details ironed out ahead of state budget vote

Californication State of the Nation

Source: MSN

Get ready to bring your own bag to the supermarket.

Details about the state’s soon-to-be passed plastic bag ban emerged Thursday as lawmakers prepared to include the measure in the state budget.

The statewide ban on plastic single-use bags includes a 5-cent fee on paper bags that counties can split with the state or opt out of and pass the decision down to local municipalities, State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-L.I.), chair of the Committee on Environmental Conservation, told the Daily News.

The fee, which would go into effect on March 1, 2020, would be split 60/40, with 3 cents going to the state Environmental Protection Fund and 2 cents staying with the county. Should a county opt out and a town or city decide to impose the 5-cent fee, it would stay with the retailer.

Kaminsky applauded Cuomo and Legislative leaders for reaching a deal on barring plastic bags from the Empire State — and said shoppers will readily adapt to the change.

“I think its been long overdue our state has kicked this around for too long,” he told The News. “We’ll look back on this in a year or two and it will be business as usual and people will find using reusable bags normal.”

Gov. Cuomo, who first backed a plastic bag ban last year and included it this year’s budget proposal, said the paper bag fee was the final piece needed before the legislation could be made law.

“Some people think it hurts poor people who would wind up paying the fee, and then some people think there shouldn’t be any fee unless it’s dedicated to an environmental fund,” he said last week. “I would be open to compromising on the handling of the paper bags, or letting the localities decide, but I don’t want to lose the plastic bag ban for disagreement over the paper fee.”

The ban comes two years after Cuomo blocked the city from imposing a 5-cent fee on plastic bags.

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