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Environmentalists want a delay in plastic bag ban

Jan 27, 2020 11:49 pm
Rick Karlin reports in the Times Union that representatives of retailers and the plastic industry did speak out against the March 1 plastic bag ban in New York Jan. 27 at a state Department of Environmental Conservation hearing. But environmental activists also pushed back against the March 1 date. Eric Goldstein, the senior attorney for the National Resources Defense Council, said at the hearing in Albany that the state Department of Environmental Conservation has not done enough to inform the public about the March 1 plastic bag ban. “Nobody wants to see the state fumble on the initial kickoff,” he said at the DEC hearing. "The state needs to take an extra month or two and should hold off on enforcement so that businesses and consumers can adequately prepare for a smooth transition.” Environmental activists also want to eliminate the rule allowing the use of plastic bags that are 10 mils or thicker and considered reusable under the regulation. “I was dismayed to see the 10 mil thickness” said Caitlin Ferrante, of the Sierra Club. The business community had other concerns. “There is concern about a paper bag shortage,” said Mike Durant, president and CEO of the Food Industry Alliance of New York. “They may have enough, they may not.” Price Chopper and Hannaford will charge a nickel per paper bag once the plastic bag ban goes into effect. Greene County has opted out of charging for paper bags, while Ulster County has opted in, and already has a plastic bag ban in place. DEC officials are taking comments on the issue through Feb. 3. Read more about this story in the Times Union.
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