Governor Cuomo Has Failed to Deliver a Solution for Plastic Bags (Or Even a Proposal)

Governor Cuomo Has Failed to Deliver a Solution for Plastic Bags (Or Even a Proposal)

“With his failure of leadership, every additional ton of plastic bag waste is on his hands.”

New York City Council Member Brad Lander -- prime sponsor of NYC’s “Bring Your Own Bag” Bill -- issued this statement on the release of the so-called report of Governor Cuomo's NYS Plastic Bag Task Force:

"The so-called report of the NYS Plastic Bag Task Force is a total failure of leadership by Governor Cuomo. When the governor nullified NYC’s “Bring Your Own Bag” law last February, he promised to deliver an effective statewide policy to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags. He has failed to deliver even a proposal.

When the Governor announced the Task Force, he said: 'New York has led the nation by taking bold action to protect our environment – and this task force marks another step forward in that effort...The costly and negative impact of plastic bags on New York’s natural resources is a statewide issue that demands a statewide solution.'

The so-called report released today, An Analysis of the Impact of Single-Use Plastic Bags, does indeed acknowledge “the costly and negative impact” of single-use plastic bags. But it completely fails to deliver the promised “statewide solution.” It is merely a long list of options, which could have been compiled from Internet research. The most likely outcome: “Option 8. Continue Existing Policies” Translation: do nothing at all.

Meanwhile, as the report itself acknowledges, cities and states across the country & theworld have moved forward to adopt strong policies to reduce plastic bag waste. The most effective, proven policies are either a modest fee on all single-use bags (like the 5-cent fee of the NYC law), or a ban on thin plastic bags with a fee on paper/other bags. 

Since the governor killed NYC’s law (which was scheduled to go into effect 11 months ago), NYC residents have sent over 8 billion plastic bags—more than 80,000 tons of plastic solid waste—to landfills, with no end in sight.

With Governor Cuomo's failure to deliver a proposed solution, every additional ton of plastic bag waste is on his hands."

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