Plastic bag ban closer to reality, could come with fee on paper bags

A plastic bag ban is part of the state Senate's one-house budget resolution released Tuesday.

The Senate agrees with Gov. Andrew Cuomo that there should be a ban on carryout plastic bags. However, the Senate also supports imposing a fee on paper carryout bags.

A final agreement, the Senate resolution explains, should "ensure that reusable bags are distributed to those who cannot afford new fees on grocery bag purchases."

Cuomo's proposal would ban single-use plastic bags at New York stores and supermarkets. There would be an exception for plastic bags used to hold fruit or meats. Plastic bags provided by restaurants for carryout meals would be exempt from the ban.

A task force launched by Cuomo released several recommendations in early 2018 to address plastic bag waste. Roughly 23 million plastic bags are used by New Yorkers each year, according to the governor's office.

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