Cuomo to include statewide plastic bag ban in 2019 budget

Cuomo to include statewide plastic bag ban in 2019 budget
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Sunday announced that a ban on single-use plastic bags will be included in his 2019 executive budget.

The budget will also include legislation that will make most non-alcoholic drink bottles eligible for 5-cent redemption.

Both proposals are being made in an effort to make progress on environmental issues, Cuomo said Sunday in a statement.

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"While the federal government is taking our environmental progress backwards and selling out our communities to polluters and oil companies, in New York we are moving forward with the nation's strongest environmental policies and doing everything in our power to protect our natural resources for future generations," he said.

"These bold actions to ban plastic bags and promote recycling will reduce litter in our communities, protect our water and create a cleaner and greener New York for all," Cuomo added.

Cuomo's office said in a statement that plastic bag usage in New York creates "massive amounts of litter in neighborhoods and waterways" and poses "a threat to the health of New Yorkers and the environment."

The state's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) plans to work to ensure that the ban "does not disproportionately impact low and moderate income and environmental justice communities," the office added.

"Promoting recycling, reducing waste, and helping end the blight of plastic bags littering our environment are top priorities. Thanks to Governor Cuomo's leadership, proposals to ban plastic bags and expand the bottle bill will bolster New York's ongoing efforts to improve recycling markets and reduce contamination in the waste stream," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement.