New York lawmakers voted to ban retailers from providing customers with single-use plastic bags. The state also approved fees of up to five cents each for paper bags.
The measure passed the state Senate by a vote of 39 to 22 and the Assembly by 100 to 42 and will begin March 1, 2020.
New York is the third state to issue a statewide plastic bag ban, after California and Hawaii.
Lawmakers also voted to allow counties and cities to opt in to a 5-cent fee on paper bags, with 40% of the revenue supporting local programs to buy reusable bags for low and fixed income consumers, and 60% of the revenue supporting programs in the State’s Environmental Protection Fund.
The New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS) President Jim Calvin released a statement last week in response to the ban, calling it a “lose-lose-lose scenario” for convenience stores.
Calvin listed several disadvantages to the ban, including
- the inability to provide plastic bags for customers who had an “unplanned visit to the store on their way home”
- the cost of paper bags to the retailer
- and “the administrative burdens of collecting the fee, explaining why to the customer, printing it on the receipt, keeping records of the fee revenue, and periodically remitting portions of the revenue to the state and the locality”
NYACS opposed the plastic bag ban proposed by Governor Cuomo in January, instead advocating for a 5-cent fee on both paper and plastic.