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Governor proposes plastic grocery bag ban -- with exceptions

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed a bill to ban plastic grocery bags in New York, but not everyone is praising him for it.

Cuomo’s plan would prohibit all single-use plastic carryout bags at any point of sale. However, Peter Iwanowicz with Environmental Advocates says there are too many exceptions in the bill.

“In fact they’ve included a pretty significant loophole," he says. "By allowing retailers to claim their bags are recyclable or reusable that would really nullify their effectiveness.”

The ban also does not apply to plastic bags used for newspaper delivery, garment bags from the drycleaners and storage and garbage bags used in the home. It also does not require retailers to set a fee for customers’ use of plastic bags. In fact, the bill prohibits any local government from charging a fee for the bags.

Iwanowicz says if the governor were really serious about getting the bill into law, he would have recommended it as part of the state budget, which is already finished for the year.

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