Amanda Fries reports for the Albany Times Union
that Albany County is considering banning single-use plastic bags for environmental reasons. All stores in the county would be prohibited from giving customers plastic bags, and would offer either recyclable paper bags or boxes to carry purchases for a fee of a nickel each to customers without their reusable bags. “I think banning single-use plastic bags is an obvious next priority,” said Joanne Cunningham, a Bethlehem Democrat who is sponsoring the law, which will need public hearings before becoming a law. “I would say we need to do a lot of things simultaneously to address climate change and our addiction to plastic, and I think eliminating the scourge of single-use plastic bags should be at the top of the list.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says about 80 percent of plastic pollution in the ocean comes from land-based trash, including plastic bags. And plastics made up 18.9 percent of all municipal waste dumped in landfills in the country in 2015. Read the full story in the Albany Times Union.