New Yorkers use 23-billion plastic bags every year, many showing up later as litter, and they don’t biodegrade.
The state’s Plastic Bag Task Force has come up with eight potential solutions for the Governor and legislature to consider.
So what can be done? The options to address plastic bag waste in the report are:
- Strengthen and Enforce Existing New York State Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act – Continue implementation of the existing New York State Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act while increasing education, enforcement and reporting requirements.
- Manufacturer Responsibility for Recycling of Single-Use Plastic Bags – Require manufacturers to fund and implement a program for the collection and recycling of single-use plastic bags.
- Fee on Single-Use Plastic Bags – Institute a fee on single-use plastic bags.
- Fee per Transaction for Single-Use Bags – Under this option, rather than a fee per bag, a single fee would be imposed for the use of single-use bags (i.e., a fee would be assessed whether a consumer received one bag or 10 bags).
- Fee on Single-Use Plastic and Paper Bags
- Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags – Implement a ban on the sale and use of single-use plastic bags.
- Hybrid – Implement a ban on plastic bags with a fee on the allowable alternatives.
- Continue Existing Policies – Continue implementation of the existing New York State Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act.
The plan was delivered to the Governor and legislature for consideration.
Link: DEC Report
Convened in March 2017, the Task Force was directed to study the growing issue of plastic bag waste and develop a comprehensive statewide plan to address the detrimental impact plastic bags have on the environment. The report is the result of a dedicated effort by Task Force members, including elected officials, advocates, and other key stakeholders. The report was informed by a roundtable discussion and comments DEC received from interested parties and an exhaustive review of actions taken elsewhere to address plastic bag waste.
Task Force members are:
- Basil Seggos, Commissioner, DEC
- Senator Thomas O’Mara, New York State Senate
- Assemblyman Steve Englebright, New York State Assembly
- Stephen Acquario, Executive Director, New York State Association of Counties
- Marcia Bystryn, President, New York League of Conservation Voters
- Michael Rosen, President and CEO, Food Industry Alliance of NY, Inc.