While noting that a proposed statewide ban on single-use plastic bags and a path to its implementation have yet to be determined, Canandaigua City Council is in support of the proposal.
City Council, which is in the beginning stages of drafting a law banning the use of plastic straws and utensils, among other plastic items, voted 8-0 Thursday night on a resolution of support without discussion.
The proposed ban on single-use plastic bags is included in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal. The deadline for state legislators to adopt a spending plan is April 1.
Cuomo created the New York State Plastic Bag Task Force just about two years ago to develop a solution to pollution caused by the use of plastic bags.
The ban, according to Cuomo, will benefit the environment through reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with production of the bags and their disposal, from petroleum used to produce the bags to emissions from the transportation of bags to landfills.
The prohibition also would provide a financial incentive to reduce waste, according to Cuomo’s office.
Local state legislators, however, are not as receptive to the proposed legislation as City Council is.
Assembly Leader Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua, said the proposal to ban plastic bags fails to consider the impact to consumers. Instead, Kolb said the governor’s focus should be on lowering costs, reducing taxes and making life more affordable for people.
“Instead, this effort takes us in the opposite direction,” Kolb said in an email. “Plastic bags can be reused and recycled, and provide a convenient, low-cost option for shoppers. An outright ban is a misguided approach that will drive up expenses for everyday people, and only add to an oppressive regulatory environment for businesses. This is a solution looking for a problem.”
State Sen. Pam Helming, R-Canandaigua, said policy should not be built into the budget, but issues such as this should be addressed through the state’s solid waste management plan.
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